Friday, August 28, 2009

Listener Care - NPR Style


Earlier this month I posted on NPR's false claim that in Israel "hate crimes are almost unknown." In addition to the post I contacted the Ombudsman with the following:
On Sunday, August 3rd, during the hourly five minute news updates, I repeatedly heard Linda Gradstein assert in reporting on the anti-gay killings in Israel that "The shooting has shocked many in Israel where hate crimes are almost unknown." This is false and misleading: 1) In May of 1990 an Israeli gunman killed 7 and wounded 10 Palestinian day laborers not far from Tel Aviv in Israel. 2) On August 5, 2005 an Israeli gunman killed four Israeli Arabs and wounding 13 others on a bus in Israel and 3) on August 17, 2005 - though not in Israel proper - an Israeli citizen killed 3 and wounded 2 random Palestinians near a settlement in the West Bank. Does NPR only consider deadly, unprovoked attacks "hate crimes" only if they don't involve Arab Israelis or Palestinians. You owe your listeners a correction and an apology.
Well, about a week ago I received a "response" in my email from "NPR - Listener Care" :
Dear Listener;

Thank you for contacting the NPR Office of the Ombudsman. We appreciate your taking the time to write regarding NPR's Middle East coverage and take your comments seriously.

For future reference, some of your concerns may be addressed on the Ombudsman's weekly column, which you can find on NPR's Ombudsman page.

Like many media outlets, NPR faces challenges in reporting events in the Middle East and elsewhere. No matter what the issue, however, NPR strives to adhere to the highest journalistic standards. Our goal is to report the stories factually and in context. The balance between the day's news and the historical context is always considered.

Because of intense interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, NPR makes available free transcripts of its coverage.

NPR's commitment is to ensure that its reporting of Middle East events will continue to provide an important and reliable service to our listeners.

Journalism is an imperfect craft and mistakes can occur. Your concern will be forwarded to the appropriate person within NPR's news division.

Sincerely,

Office of the Ombudsman
NPR
Oh wow, NPR takes my comments seriously! And they might or might not address them on the Ombudsman's erratic (and often irrelevant) column. But no matter how inaccurate and slanted the coverage - NPR adheres to the highest journalistic standards. Hey, even if you point out specific falsehoods, NPR claims a commitment to factual reporting with historical context! If there were distortions and outright lies, no big deal because, you know, journalism is such an imperfect craft and mistakes can occur.

I am so reassured...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This article describes what 'On the Media' presented a couple of weeks ago, explaining (inadvertantly)why npr 'reporters' are such a shoe-in for an em-bed spot with the military. Because they're sociopathic suck-ups. I, too, am reassured.

ig-bay!ink-pay!uzzy-fay!unny-bay! said...

Nat'l Pathetic Radio at its finest - that predictable PR-crafted polished turd of a robo-response absolutely does not compute.

Yowch on the graphic as well!

gopey said...

Anybody get Left, Right and Center? I commented on their blog and referenced Tony Blankley as "Mr. Toad," just because it seems to suit him so well. I was admonished:

Please do beware of name-calling. Though we want everyone on LRC blog
> to express their opinions, we don't want to slip into eponymous digs, okay?

To which I responded,

That's fair enough - though, if the dig were "eponymous" that would suggest that Blankley's true name *is* Mr. Toad and that he is, in fact, either a toad (the amphibian), or the character from Wind in the Willows, who is aptly conceited, self-centered and lacking in basic common sense.

To be sure, I find the spectrum of this array of commentators (LRC) to be (typically, for what passes as public radio these days) skewed to the right. This is evidenced by Matt Miller (an avowed war enthusiast) being in the so-called "center." I see this as an attempt to manipulate public opinion (which is often far to the left of MSM) by using the Overton Window: http://www.correntewire.com/the_overton_window_illustrated .

I appreciate the venue for talking back, especially as I am often frustrated that such ignorant voices are allowed to stand unchallenged on the radio.

I will do my best to be civil and refrain from ad-hominem attacks,
though I wasn't trying to be mean spirited so much as amusing.


Matt Miller is for
(1) killing single payer
(2) vouchers
(3) pre-emptive war

and that characterizes him as representing the "center" of American politics?

Anonymous said...

why npr 'reporters' are such a shoe-in for an em-bed spot with the military. Because they're sociopathic suck-ups."

On Point's Tom As*brook, for example.

That guy was such a cheerleader for the invasion of Iraq, it was enough to make me puke.

I don't know how someone with actual journalistic integrity like Jack Beatty stomachs working with a right wing twit like As*brook.

Anonymous said...

"Journalism is an imperfect craft and mistakes can occur. "

Reminds me of Donald Rumsfeld's infamous remark in reply to a question about the looting of Baghdad after the invasion:

"Stuff* happens"

(*I'm sure Rummy used a different word.)

Shepard IS in a class with Rumsfeld and Cheney, in my opinion.

It scares me that she teaches journalistic ethics to young people. no wonder journalists coming out of college today have such a warped sense of ethics.