Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The New York Times: Showing Those Bloggers How News Is Done

Last Thursday, a 16-year-old Israeli boy was critically wounded by an antitank missile fired by Hamas militants at a school bus in Gaza.
New York Times, Diplomacy Breaks Down Amid Bieber Fever, April 12, 2011

No, Actually (as pointed out by Lenny Ben-David) the bus was in Israel--not Gaza.
In this case, the obvious mistake is not due to sloppy reporting--just sloppy syntax.

But then there is this example of sloppy reporting by the New York Times--as pointed out by Lenny Ben-David in his blog I*Consult:
"Last Thursday, a 16-year-old Israeli boy was critically wounded by an antitank missile fired by Hamas militants at a school bus in [SIC] Gaza. That triggered days of intense exchanges of fire, during which 18 Palestinians, about half of them civilians, were killed."
So how much is "about half" of 18?  How many dead civilians? Eight? Nine? Ten?

Actually, the real number of civilians killed is five.  It's relatively easy to find out just by looking at Arab sources in English.  And according to Arab sources, four were in close proximity to terrorists firing missiles at Israel.

A list of the 18 dead can be found below and on the site of Muslim News. Next to the names, I identified them as "fighters" or "civilians."  That determination is based on linked articles in the Muslim News, the Palestinian Maan News Agency or Human Rights Watch.
1. Mahmoud Al Manasra, 50, Al Shijaeyya.Civilian
2. Mohammad Al Mahmoum, 25, Rafah. Fighter
3. Mosab Al Sufi, 18, Rafah.  Fighter
4. Saleh Al Tarabeen, 38, Rafah.  Fighter
5. Khaled Ad-Dabary, 23, Rafah.  Fighter
6. Mo’taz Abu Jame’, Khan Younis.  Fighter
7. Abdullah Al Qarra, Khan Younis.  Fighter
8. Nidal Qdeih, 21, Khan Younis.  Civilian
9. Najah Qdeih, 48, Khan Younis.  Civilian
10. Talal Abu Taha, 55, Khan Younis. Civilian
11. Raed Shihada, 27, northern Gaza. Fighter
12. Bilal Al ‘Ar’ir, 23, Al Shijaeyya.  Fighter
13. Mahmoud Al Jaro, 10, Al Shijaeyya. Civilian
14. Ahmad Ghorab, northern Gaza.  Fighter
15. Mohammad Awaja, Rafah.  Fighter
16. Taiseer Abu Sneima, Rafah.  Fighter
17. Ahmad Al Zeitouniyya, northern Gaza.  Fighter
18. Zuheir Al Bir, Al Zeitoun neighborhood – Gaza.  Fighter
Fortunately, Lenny Bar-David does the math.
Because The New York Times won't.

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NormanF said...

Probably less.

The news media can't get simple facts about the Middle East right.

Now tell me Daled - how well do you think they understand and can analyze larger trends in the region?

I pity their abysmal ignorance.

Daled Amos said...

I pity their abysmal ignorance.

Actually, I pity us their abysmal ignorance.