Saturday, September 12, 2009

World Vision hitches a ride on Reuters' global wings

We have previously noted how Reuters collaborates with various NGOs, providing them with a publishing outlet on the Reuters' AlertNet website for press releases, appeals for donations, and "reports".

This symbiotic relationship benefits the member NGO which gets royalty-free photographs, free advertising for job vacancies and training programs, and most precious of all, free international publicity for its agenda and campaigns. Reuters, in return, receives compelling content for its website and discharges its charitable duties associated with its Foundation.

Whilst all of this may seem like a worthy philanthropic partnership, we have noted that NGO content published on the AlertNet website is often highly politicized and partisan. As an illustration, we cited a human interest story written by Jennifer Chiodo of World Vision that sought to demonize Israel for a decision by the Israeli High Court to evict Arab squatters in Jerusalem due to their failure to pay rent.

In another article appearing on the Reuters AlertNet website, World Vision promotes an appeal for Israel to provide "full and unrestricted access for spare parts and materials critically needed to restore Gaza's water and sanitation services". One would think this plea would be more aptly directed to the governing terror group Hamas which steals building materials for bunker and rocket production in Gaza.  Even more ironic however, is World Vision's effort to bolster its appeal by averring that:

"Under human rights law all people have the right to an adequate standard of living and the highest attainable standard of health."

For those unfamiliar with the minutia of "human rights law", that assertion is drawn from Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document which has been roundly rejected by the Islamic states of the OIC and Hamas.  Israel being an enlightened democracy is on the other hand, expected to comply with such entreaties despite the obvious danger of providing building materials which are confiscated by her enemies and converted to war materiel.

Reuters expressly disclaims responsibility for the views of its AlertNet NGO partners yet provides them with free and unfettered opportunities to broadcast highly tendentious reports that often have less to do with philanthropy than the politics of demonizing Israel. While we have no issue with Reuters offering its global media platform to worthy charities, we believe it is incumbent upon their editors to demonstrate a commitment to the Reuters Trust Principles by monitoring and moderating NGO content for bias and political advocacy.

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