Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The incestuous relationship between Reuters and anti-Israel NGOs

Attention was recently focused on the NGO Human Rights Watch with news of that organization's visit to Saudi Arabia to solicit money while boasting of their condemnatory reports on Israel and their political battles with "pro-Israel forces".

This has raised questions again on the integrity and objectivity of various NGOs in their fundraising, reporting, and lobbying activities.

It is perhaps not widely known that Reuters maintains a non-profit trust, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, registered as a charity in the UK and US. According to the foundation's website:

"The charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, it leverages the skills and expertise across the corporation to increase trust and access to the rule of law, to save lives through the provision of trusted information and to improve the standards of journalism."
[charity begins at home, as they say]

In addition to a host of other projects, the Thomson Reuters Foundation created and manages a news network and website called AlertNet which:

"... was started in 1997 to place Reuters' core skills of speed, accuracy and freedom from bias at the service of the humanitarian community."

The Foundation claims a network of 400 contributing humanitarian organizations and "content partners who make use of the AlertNet channel to give their content a wider audience."

Unfortunately, that content is often highly politicized as in the case of this blog post written by World Vision and this finely tuned propaganda piece from Oxfam appearing on the AlertNet website.

(Our focus is not on examining World Vision material but note that in their piece, they refer to the evicted Arab families as being "resettled in Sheikh Jarrah [in 1948] under the protection of the Jordanian government and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency". That would be the same Jordanian government which in 1948, had just invaded and ethnically cleansed Jerusalem of its Jewish inhabitants. How charitable of them and the UN to resettle Arab families in homes from which Jews had been forced out).

Reuters expressly disclaims responsibility for the content of partner material appearing on the AlertNet website but it is notable that these articles are not simply linked; they are fully integrated into the site. Reuters is clearly exercising editorial control both by embracing these organizations as contributing members and in accepting their pieces for publication.

What was that about "accuracy and freedom from bias"?

1 comment:

  1. What was that about "accuracy and freedom from bias"?
    its something the pro israel organisation and media never take into account. when certain facts condemn israel these groups will put a 'spin' on them which turns 'facts into fiction' and 'aggressor into victim'.