Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Accurate reporting

Two posts from GetReligion.org today show the difficulties of reporting the news accurately - and why it's always worth asking questions about reported pieces. Furthermore both of these pieces involve the difficulties inherent in clearly understanding religious issues as opposed to sectarian ones.

The first discusses various clashes between Muslims and Christians in Egypt since the removal of Mubarak. The second looks at a particularly horrific attack on an Israeli family, allegedly by the Al Aqsa Martyrs (who at first took credit, then later claimed they hadn't done it).

In both cases, the writers attempt to clarify who is who and who did what to whom. In neither case are these things as clear as they should be in the original news reports, and the reports often leave out vital facts.

Sometimes the problem is publication policy; sometimes it's inept reporting; sometimes it's a biased use of language. Whatever the problem, it shows that in a world where we
can actually compare reports, it's worth doing so before we make up our mind about what we've been told.
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