Guardian

Guardian report on Jerusalem terror attack again highlights fate of perpetrators (Update)


On Jan. 26, we commented on a Guardian headline which served as further evidence of a media trend of prioritizing the fate of the perpetrators over that of their victims by  leading with the death of the terrorists, while relegating the victims to the strapline.

Today, they did it again.

Here’s the headline, strapline and photo accompanying a report by Peter Beaumont on today’s terror attack in Jerusalem, where 2 Israeli policewoman were wounded by three Palestinians who stabbed and shot them outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem.

guardian again

First, note that the headline once again leads with the police reaction to the Palestinian terror attack, not the attack itself.  

Also, note that the strapline claims the terrorists merely had knives, despite the fact that the article itself makes clear they had knives and guns, and that the attack began when “one of the suspects drew his gun and opened fire”.

Finally, look at the photo caption (“Israeli officers secure an area near Damascus Gate where three Palestinians were shot dead by police”). Readers are merely informed that Israeli officers “shot dead” three Palestinians without being informed that the Palestinian attack precipitated the police response.

Once again, Guardian editors have done everything possible to soften the impact of a clear-cut story about Israeli terror victims and Palestinian initiated violence.

UPDATE 1: Shortly after our post, the Guardian changed the strap line. It now more accurately reads: “Men were stopped at Damascus Gate and reportedly found to be carrying least one automatic weapon, pipe bombs and knives.”

UPDATE 2: Additionally, Guardian editors changed the headline to the following:

better headline

34 replies »

  1. The Guardian should be ashamed of themselves. I’m quite sure this would not have been their approach had the act of terrorism happened on UK soil.

      • Why isn’t there a campaign to demand advertisers stop advertising in Der Guardian? Pressure Der Guardian where it hurts them – in the purse.

        When a business advertises in Der Guardian.

        The editors and owners of Der Guardian need to go back to Journalism school and finally learn how to report and not propagandize.

    • The Guardian has no shame full stop.A racist biased hypocritical rag that it’s sole raisin de’etre is to smear Israel..Whenever they put up an article on their site that has anything at all to do about Israel it turns into a bottom feeding frenzy…..A web site that promotes encourages and welcomes sociopaths and anti-Semitic posters.Pro Israeli posters are not welcome there.

  2. Rapid reaction by sub-editors. It now reads:
    “Men were stopped at Damascus Gate and reportedly found to be carrying least one automatic weapon, pipe bombs and knives”

  3. I must have missed The Guardian’s headline from one year ago: French Police Kill 2 Muslim Brothers After Charlie Hebdo Attack.
    I must also have missed the one that read: California Police Shoot Dead Muslim Couple in San Bernadino.
    When ideology replaces reality, I suppose this is what you get. These Guardianistas would do well to reflect on the fate of their fellow travelers in Iran after the Shah was deposed and their Islamist allies had no further use for them.

    • @Charlie in NY –

      RE: “I must have missed …”

      Yes, you did, I’m afraid. THESE were the Guardian’s Charlie Hebdo and San Bernadino headlines – both “prioritizing the fate of the perpetrators” …

      1. @ http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/09/charlie-hebdo-attack-suspects-gunman-killed-dammartin-en-goele-port-de-vincennes-paris :

      Charlie Hebdo suspects and third gunman killed in twin police raids
      (sub-head: Four hostages dead after French Swat teams storm printing firm in Dammartin-en-Goële and supermarket in Paris)

      2. @ http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/02/san-bernardino-california-shooting :

      San Bernardino: couple die in gun battle with police after mass shooting
      (Sub-heads: * Fourteen people killed and 17 wounded as shooters storm into center * Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik die in shootout with 20 police after car chase * Shooting is deadliest since Sandy Hook school massacre in 2012)

      • I got a link, too, Miranda baby! Let’s check out the SEO in the urls to see what the general intent of the writers and editors really are!!!

        Your examples –
        charlie-hebdo-attack-suspects-gunman-killed-dammartin-en-goele-port-de-vincennes-paris
        san-bernardino-california-shooting

        My example –
        israel-police-kill-palestinians-near-jerusalem-old-city

        Vive la difference!

      • I’m actually impressed by you, Miranda; most trolls occasionally have some insight, but in your consistency every single thing you have ever posted on this site has been completely stupid.

        • @Ben –

          In his intro to this article, Adam refers back to one he wrote on Jan 26 (@ https://ukmediawatch.org/2016/01/26/guardian-headline-on-terror-attack-focuses-on-death-of-palestinian-perpetrator/ ) where he supplemented his complaint about “prioritizing the fate of the perpetrators over that of their victims” by saying:

          “… it would be difficult to find an example of terror in world – OUTSIDE OF ISRAEL – where media outlets prioritize the fate of the perpetrators over that of their victims.” (My caps for emphasis.)

          I pointed out on Jan 26 that this was not true. Israel is by no means “singled out” when it comes to headlines angled in this way – and I provided three examples (UK press reports on incidents in Australia, China and France) to illustrate my point.

          My reply here to @Charlie in NY related specifically to his amplification of Adam’s blinkered analysis. And this time I provided two headlines (on precisely the same incidents, and in exactly the same paper) he claims were “missing” – i.e, Guardian headlines prioritizing France/California perpetrators in the way its initial Israel headline did.

          For @koufaxmitzvah’s benefit and all those – including you apparently – who still can’t see that these Guardian headlines are IDENTICALLY angled … no “singling out” of Israel whatsoever … I’ll repeat them without distracting URLs and sub-heads:

          1. Israeli police kill three Palestinian men who injured female officers

          2. Charlie Hebdo suspects and third gunman killed in twin police raids

          3. San Bernardino: couple die in gun battle with police after mass shooting

          If you think it’s “stupid” and mere “trolling” to challenge Adam and/or BTL posters who make misleading assertions based on half-baked research and propagandist myths, too bad. That’s your problem, not mine.

          • Miranda…. baby…. I work in online publishing. I know the meaning behind SEO. It’s for the article to pop-up on web searches. So if you’re seeking Dead Palestinians, you will get the article with the CBS headline. In other words, CBS is seeking attention (i.e. hits) for their ads (i.e. making money).

            So think about this, if you can. Jews, who are accused of controlling the media (for example, as I have by you, Sweetums, when you say that I’m merely a Hasbarist as opposed to an individual who disagrees with your penchant to blame Israelis for their own murders) are the victims in attacks that get rephrased in headlines so that the news agency gains as many readers as possible for ad rate purposes.

            You don’t see the hypocrisy because you can’t follow the argument, Baby.

          • @Miranda:

            Those headlines you quote are NOT identically angled. Let’s do some basic primary school sentence analysis. The meaning of the word “subject” is “what is this sentence about?” A verb is an action word which, when used in the active voice often refers to an action taken by the subject, and when in the passive voice it indicates actions taken to or on the subject.

            Look at the first one: Subject: Israeli police – in other words, this sentence (the headlne) is principally about Israeli police. Verb: Kill – an active voice verb, indicating action taken by the subject Object: Palestinian men The killing action is therefore attributed to the subject, Israeli police

            Look at the second one: Subject: Charlie Hebdo suspects Verb: “Killed” – passive voice, meaning that the subjects had these things done to them. Note that there’s no attribution as to who killed them, just that it was “in a…raid”

            Third one: Subject: Couple Verb: Die. Again, no attribution.

            So, the only sentence out of your three allegedly identical examples that actually ties an action to a subject is the first one. The other two hide any attribution behind other weasel words or phrases. That is precisely the difference that Adam and others keep pointing out, and I’m sorry, but your analysis is flawed.

            • Careful and beautiful analysis of the difference, at the sort of intellectual level that a person such as Miranda seems to operate. The people writing headlines in the Guardian know full well what they’re doing, whereas people such as Miranda (and she is by no means the only one) are not aware of what is being done to them. That, in a nutshell, captures the difference between the active and the passive voice.

            • @fof9l –

              That’s a perfectly valid sentence-analysis by you. But it’s not, unfortunately, pertinent to the – very specific – claim Adam made, and which I was – very specifically – addressing in the headline samples I offered.

              Adam took no issue with the active/passive voice editorial decision here; nor with the matter of attribution; nor with weasel words. (Likewise, these things didn’t figure in his Jan 26 article.) His sole analytical focus was on word-order placement – the first-mention positioning (in a queue, as it were) of a perpetrator’s fate ahead of the fate of his/her victims. And this “prioritizing” sequence, he persistently maintains, is something uniquely applied to reports on Israel.

              My reply was challenging THAT erroneous critique – addressing Adam’s OWN terms of reference – and nothing more.

              • @Miranda:

                I don’t think that Adam claimed that Israel is the only victim of this massaging of words to produce the desired effect; however, Israel is a regular victim, especially in the Guardian and reports from the BBC. I think the whole issue can be interpreted and moved forward in a number of ways, but whether it’s word order or active/passive, or attribution, the fact is that it’s the choice of subject in a sentence that sets the tone for that sentence, and the choice of subject in a headline that sets the tone for the entire article. The subject is complex, but professional journalists have – or, should have – training in it, and are all very aware of how the choice of words and their order can skew a headline or an article. My question is usually “What’s this story about?”, and if the headline says “Palestinian mother killed by Israeli police at checkpoint”, you just know it’s going to be a different slant than a story headlined “Stabbing attempt foiled by Israeli border police”.

                • ‘Nigel Blumenthal –

                  Many thanks for your thoughts on this. You point to a number of issues and perceptions that certainly deserve serious discussion. All I’d caution is that whatever conclusions are reached would need to be underpinned by credible research, and not on the selective presentation of “offending articles” which are then portrayed as being evidence of a “trend” or “norm”.

                  Among the avenues a dispassionate researcher might usefully explore – with a QUANTITATIVE survey – is, once and for all, whether Adam’s claim (in his Jan 26 article @ https://ukmediawatch.org/2016/01/26/guardian-headline-on-terror-attack-focuses-on-death-of-palestinian-perpetrator/ ) that ” it would be difficult to find an example of terror in [the] world – outside of Israel – where media outlets prioritize the fate of the perpetrators over that of their victims” actually does hold water.

                  My own impression (and, I emphasise, it’s JUST an impression) is that it does not. Enough at-a-glance examples can be found in the Guardian’s Israel index (@ http://www.theguardian.com/world/israel ) of headlines which unequivocally “prioritize the fate of Israeli victims” to at least raise a large initial question mark. In addition there are plenty of non-I/P terrorism stories like those I offered in this thread and my Jan 26 post which set the ball rolling further. (As a reminder: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/24/melbourne-teenager-shot-dead-after-stabbing-two-police-officers ; http://www.theguardian.com/global/2015/jul/14/chinese-police-kill-three-xinjiang-terrorists-in-north-east-authorities-say ; and http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/07/paris-police-shoot-dead-man-near-police-station )

                  On a more QUALITATIVE level, I’d suggest, a neutral researcher would consider something Adam seemingly fails ever to do when laying complaints – that headline prioritzing decisions may be based on a great many factors other than “ideologically-driven” ones. Western media news-values of “drama”, “the unusual”, “immediacy”, etc, are highly influential, along with a general rule-of-thumb that death trumps injury and totally eclipses the fright of people left unscratched by would-be attackers. And banal though it sounds, the practical time and space constraints faced by headline writers also merit close attention…

                  Contrary to what you say about being able to predict the slant of a story from the slant of its headline, you’ll quite often find this isn’t the case, particularly in early versions (before the hapless sub is bollocked and ordered to re-write) or in “briefs” where only two- or three-word heads are possible.

                  I’m running out of time now, but one more thing does need adding. The UK media may at times be guilty of badly skewed reporting on I/P violence, but if any researcher were to conduct a study in tandem with analysis of parallel reportage by Israeli media, the verdict on Israeli journalists would – and I’m 99% certain of this! – be a good deal harsher.

                  • “I’m running out of time now, but one more thing does need adding. The UK media may at times be guilty of badly skewed reporting on I/P violence, but if any researcher were to conduct a study in tandem with analysis of parallel reportage by Israeli media, the verdict on Israeli journalists would – and I’m 99% certain of this! – be a good deal harsher.”

                    She’s so understanding…. aside from this being forum about Western European media, and the headlines they continue to run, which results in pages like this, that Miranda baby then posts screed after screed about how it is that she and her delusional ilk are misunderstood.

                    Other than dancing on the spilled blood of murdered Jews, Miranda baby, what the fuck is exactly your point?

                  • An Australian newspaper was at least honest about it and said dead Jews don’t sell newspapers.
                    So with the public Adam talks of. They don’t care what the truth is, they want to draw their readers’ attention. For them Palestinian deaths are much more important (but only if killed by Israelis: see Syria if you doubt this) so that’s what they give them. If anybody — like Adam — notices, well, they can always change the headline.

                  • Zzzzzzz. Sorry, you were talking and I fell asleep out of boredom. Did I miss anything interesting (lol)?

                  • “if any researcher were to conduct a study in tandem with analysis of parallel reportage by Israeli media, the verdict on Israeli journalists would – and I’m 99% certain of this! – be a good deal harsher.” –

                    More delusional screeching.

  4. CBS News has the same dissonance issue, although it appears they, too, have changed the original headline. But notice their url title…. Fucking wankers.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/israel-police-kill-palestinians-near-jerusalem-old-city/

    On another note (sort of), I often think back to the Gaza war, and Israel was identified as the perpetrator of a school and hospital bombing about 20 minutes after they occurred. No fog of war for Israel; only fog of resistance for the Media.

    • Yes, totally disgusting.

      On the plus side, CBS got such a storm of protest that I hope they will think twice another time. If you look at the comments on the CBS story you posted, you will see that, with the exception of the prolific “Jim Hawkin” and one or two other Israel-haters, the vast majority of the comments are condemning the way CBS headlined the story.

  5. Unrelated to this article, but does anyone note the “stickyness” of very minor Israel-related articles on the online Guardian front page. Today (4th Feb), we have a minor bit of local, political gossip about a man who is no longer an ambassador:
    ” Israeli ambassador was repeatedly warned over London security breaches
    Daniel Taub, Israel’s most recent envoy to the UK, returned to Israel after officials raised late-night visits to official home”
    On a day when Saudi Arabia volunteered ground troops to Syria and an Oxford student was tortured to death in Egypt, it occupied pole position for much of the day and is still 2nd biggest story on World news.

    In a similar vein, it is a rare week when “20 Photographs of the Week” don’t feature a pic of someone in Gaza standing by a damaged building from 2014.

  6. OT (?):
    The non-antisemitic BBC has been flooding the airwaves and cyberspace with non-stop ‘reports’ about Israel’s terribly racist and illegal treatment of Africans, which the BBC simply knows is against ‘international law’.