Thursday, March 19, 2009


Honest Reporting highlights the insidious way in which Palestinian "fixers" have infiltrated the so-called "foreign press" in Israel with the aim of influencing and distorting the news from the region - Exposed: How Palestinian Fixers Manipulate their Media Bosses

While one refers to the "foreign press" in Israel, most employees are local Israelis or Palestinians who are hired for their language skills, access and local knowledge. Sometimes it isn't enough just to monitor only the news stories and critique the media. The hiring practices of the media organizations can also impact significantly on what news is reported and how decisions are made as to the information reaching Western audiences.

It isn't only the personal attitudes or potential bias of a journalist influencing the final article or television report. Other media professionals can also have a major bearing on the construction and direction of a story.

Palestinian translators and fixers may be necessary but those with a political agenda can be selective with the information they feed the journalist or, at worst, mistranslate the words of the interview subjects. Writing on the influence of Palestinian organizations on foreign news reporting, the JCPA's Dan Diker noted:

According to senior foreign news sources based in Jerusalem, the vast majority of Palestinian fixers - often close friends of Palestinian employees of Jerusalem-based foreign news agencies - are ideologically motivated by the Palestinian cause, and actively encourage journalists to report exclusively on the "evils" of the Israeli occupation, rather than on the lack of democratic freedoms or human rights abuses in the West Bank and Gaza.

No comments: