Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reuters only concerned with copy changes when these are pro-Israel

Reuters stories are syndicated to hundreds of other media publications worldwide.  In 2004, CanWest Global Communications, publisher of 13 newspapers in Canada including The National Post, was asked by former Reuters global managing editor David Schlesinger to remove Reuters' bylines (the writer's name) from the agency's stories appearing in CanWest papers.  What had CanWest done to draw Schlesinger's ire?  It had substituted the word "terrorists" for Reuters word choice, "rebels".  And after all, we know that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter".

Well apparently, Reuters has no similar problem with The Daily Star of Lebanon altering copy.  Note the following lede in a story authored by Reuters correspondent Allyn Fisher-Ilan which appeared in the paper on November 14, 2011:
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: An Israeli ministerial committee gave initial approval Sunday to legislation intended to clamp limits on funding by foreign governments for Israeli organizations. Critics say the measure is aimed mainly at choking off European and other Western aid to left-wing groups. Supporters of the legislation say such monetary support from abroad is tantamount to foreign interference in internal Israeli politics. [emphasis ours]
Fisher-Ilan did not use the modifier "Occupied" in her original story as it appeared on the Reuters website the previous day; this was added by the Lebanese paper.

And that's not the first or only time The Daily Star has adulterated Reuters copy to slant the news against Israel.  Yet, on every occasion, the Reuters writer's name appears in the story.

Apparently, Reuters only takes issue with changes to its copy when these changes are pro-Israel.

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