Wednesday, July 16, 2008

July 16 ‘Media Critique’ : “The New York Times: A Year-Long Analysis”

Here we go again. My last review of this is still, unfortunately, relevant.

And a NYT journalists comment remains particularly apt,

They don’t want you to be balanced in your coverage; they want you to portray the morality of the war as they see it.

There are just a few things worth noting.

In its six month ‘review’ HonestReporting complained that 60% of photos were “sympathetic” (according to HRs “objective”, but wonderfully unexplained, analysis). But now Three quarters of these images evoke sympathy for the Palestinians”. For HR this is,

a clear case of bias

As I explained last time,

This is the hallmark of utterly vacuous faux-media analysis – that balance in reporting might be represented by the Golden Mean, a midpoint between 2 opposed positions. An objective reference point would be to look at casualties. Given that the ratio of deaths is about 4:1 in ‘favour’ of Palestinians, maybe an objective use of photos to portray reality would have 80% of photos evoking understanding of the Palestinian situation.

So maybe the NYT is becoming less biased, rather than more. (Note: I’m being rather generous given that the death ratio was more like 40:1 in 2007, rather than the 4:1 figure I used, which would equate to 98% of photos being sympathetic. An even more telling statistic might be how many dead Palestinians are never even mentioned in the news, compared to dead Israelis, the later figure being zero.)

HR then used a photo from Gaza showing a boy at a barbed wire fence to try to explain its point. They wrote,

The image is one portraying the depravation of the Palestinian people in Gaza

Hmmmm……surely that should’ve been “deprivation”. Crude error, or inherent prejudice showing through?


HR have amended the sentance, it now reads "The image is one portraying the deprivation of the Palestinian people in Gaza".