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Sunday, October 19, 2003

Bias in captions worsening

AP and Reuters bias is well-documented and well-known (among the willing). Recently, it was noted at ISRAPUNDIT that photographers or their editors were adding "ISRAEL OUT * ISRAEL OUT" messages to the ends of their captions. This stopped after a couple of days, I would guess due to letters to the media, but no sooner did that end, than I started seeing these newly elongated captions, hardly necessary to explicate the photos. For instance,


"Palestinian Abdullah Surhi, left, gestures as he walks past an Israeli border police officer securing the construction site of part of the separation fence Israeli authorities are building between east Jerusalem area, and the West Bank village of Abu Dis, Friday Oct. 17, 2003. Israel will seize Palestinian land to build the fence, claiming the barrier, that drew U.S. opposition, is necessary to keep attackers from crossing over. Frustrated by three years of unending violence, stalled peace initiatives and deteriorating hopes, groups of former government officials and civic leaders, have jumped into the quagmire, hoping to end the seemingly intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (AP Photo/Mohammed Sadek)"
Given that the Palestinian Authority controls the activities of all members of the press operating in its territories, this should be no surprise. Yet it is a matter of some concern, especially as we see these captions becoming a transparent soapbox for Arab propaganda.

In the photo caption above, if they have space for the Arab's name, and space to yammer about the Geneva "accord," then they have space for the border policman's name and a comment from the other side - especially given that the majority of Israelis oppose "groups of former government officials" and "civic leaders" circumventing the Israeli government and arrogantly, if not treasonously, signing agreements "on behalf of Israel."

It's bad enough that there are no professional, objective journalists out there. Editors need to rein in this political activity within captions if they want to maintain any semblance of rationality (professionalism and nonpartisanship went out the window a while ago).
Associated Press Managing Editors
apme@ap.org

The National Press Photographers Association president, Todd Striker
president@nppa.org

For Reuters, try this
picturedesk@reuters.com
If you have better contact information, please email me at the address noted in the blurb at top left.