Thursday, July 7, 2011

Reuters: no Jews allowed

At the 2009 World Economic Forum, Caroline Drees, formerly Reuters Middle East Editor and now Managing Editor for the Middle East and Africa, hosted a symposium entitled "Race for an Audience; Media in the Middle East".  On the symposium panel were media executives and analysts from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, and Dubai.  Note that although the symposium did not specifically reference the Arab media, Drees' panel contained no Israeli industry executives or analysts.

According to this interview with Qatar Today in 2010, Drees has lived in the Arab Middle East for over 25 years:
“I have greatly enjoyed discovering the complex fabric of this diverse region,” she said. “Since my first taste of the Arab world when my family moved to Sudan in 1986, I've been lucky enough to work and travel in most Arab countries, learning about the history, heritage and culture of places from Morocco to the Arabian Peninsula.” She also notes the Middle Eastern countries as being “extremely hospitable with a wide variety of great food.”
On her stint in running editorial operations through some difficult times both in Gaza and Tehran, Drees says, “One of the fantastic things about working for Reuters is the people. We have excellent reporting teams in both Gaza and Tehran, and their work during these momentous stories was outstanding. Many other media outlets struggled to report on these events because they weren't present on the ground. But Reuters has reporters based in Gaza and Tehran – and throughout the Middle East – all the time, so we are able to tell the world first-hand about the unfolding news. We were there long before, during and after these events, allowing us to bring true expertise to bear. Thanks to our hard-working and courageous reporters, we were able to give our subscribers news with unparalleled insight and free from bias, in line with the Reuters Trust Principles.
Needless to say, our nearly 600 posts over the last two years evidence a very different type of "news" product delivered to Reuters subscribers than that described by Drees.

Moreover, by virtue of her senior management positions with Reuters in the Middle East, Drees is perhaps most singularly responsible for Reuters correspondents' abject failure to uphold the Reuters Trust Principles and refusal to comply with the agency's Handbook of Journalism in their reporting on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Given her quarter-century living and working in Arab countries and the cultural insularity, racial and religious intolerance endemic to that region, we're frankly not surprised Drees chose not to invite an Israeli to participate in the panel discussion.

Let's just be very clear on Reuters' policy of apartheid.

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