Roll over, Leopold!

June 8, 2010 at 07:50 1 comment

Already when I was an undergraduate student at the department of history, we were taught the importance of source criticism, wie es eigentlich gewesen and all that.

At journalism school, we spoke less about it and judging by the coverage of the Flotilla to Gaza, I would say that those responsible for training Swedish journalists could add a little more emphasis to the aspect of critical evaluation of sources. Just one example is this statement from Professor Mattias Gardell, whose assertion that the Israelis carried out premeditated murders on the “Mavi Marmara” was reported without any critical follow-up questions – even though the honorable professor himself admitted that he hadn’t seen it, only heard about these alleged murders from others.

Those who lament this lack of critical thinking among journalists, however, may be happy to know that this willingness to swallow any bubbe meise thrown their way is not a universal trait in the Swedish press corps.

Evidence of this came yesterday, when the Turks – not Israel but, nota bene, the Turks – released pictures of injured Israeli marines aboard the “Mavi Marmara”. A gullible journalist might have jumped to the conclusion that this would indicate that the Israeli claims that their soldiers had been attacked by the Turkish “peace activists” were true. But no, the sharp-minded Swedish reporters have suddenly learned to exercise caution in their evaluation of sources, and now say that it’s unclear whether the pictures show Turkish activists attacking the Israelis, or helping the poor injured marines.

Of course! They’re helping them! That makes so much more sense. Why didn’t I think of that?

Read the article and look at the pictures here. Pay special attention to the picture of one of the nice Turkish activists using a knife to help a bleeding Israeli.


Entry filed under: Media.

Hope in Hysteria Missing the Point

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Einat  |  June 8, 2010 at 20:54

    I am actually quite sure that the photos were leaked… if it is true that israel has managed to stop all communication and has confiscated cameras and phones, i suppose they “let a few slip” on purpose. it has been discussed that although not a pretty sight, the photos help make the israeli point more than its contrary.
    either way, it also came out that reuters deleted the knives in the first publication. also very active jounalism, isnt it?


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