Saturday, January 8, 2011

A tale of two tales

Compare the following two headlines from stories published by Reuters on its website today: 

Israeli troops shoot dead Palestinian
in West Bank
Gaza mortar shell wounds two men
at Israeli farm

In the first headline, Reuters clearly identifies both parties to the incident: a Palestinian is shot by Israelis.  In the second headline, two men are wounded by a mortar shell apparently fired by someone named "Gaza".  It's not until the 4th paragraph of a seven paragraph story written by correspondents Ori Lewis and Nidal al-Mughrabi that we learn the identity of the perpetrator of the violence, Islamic Jihad, and even here, there is no mention that this is a Palestinian group.

But Dean Wright, Reuters Global Editor for Ethics, Innovation and News Standards, advises us to "be honest and transparent with your audience".

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