Journalistic Ethics and Mideast Reporting

Document Type

Blog Post

Journal Title

Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy: Flashpoint

Publication Date



In a world at once increasingly chaotic and interconnected, the news media have come to play unprecedented roles both in covering and influencing fast-moving events. The current violence in Israel is all the more disturbing because of the morally ambiguous coverage it receives in the worldwide press. Although this phenomenon is not new – the protracted conflict over the past half-century has long been as much a war of words as it has been of armed battles, suicide bombings, and seemingly random acts of terror – the abandonment of well-established journalistic ethics appears to have gotten worse over the past few years.

Instead of adhering to their own standards of professional conduct, the underlying principle of which is to “seek truth and provide a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues,” they too often prove George Orwell’s prescient statement some 60 years ago: “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.”