UK Media Watch prompts correction to Sunday Times’ Israeli “atrocities” claim

A Sunday Times article published on Sept. 11th (“Jewish group to set out stall at SNP conference”) focused on a stall to be manned by Scottish pro-Israel activists at the upcoming Scottish National Party (SNP) conference in an effort to counter hostility towards the Jewish state within the party.  

The article included the passage below, noting that the new pro-Israel initiative was launched by a group run by an American Jew (who teaches at Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University) named Joe Goldblatt:

times-of-london-original-passageHowever, the sentence in question runs counter to a fundamental rule of journalistic accuracy and professionalism – codified in the Editors’ Code of Practice – which demands that reporters clearly “distinguish between comment, conjecture and fact”.  As we wrote in our complaint to Sunday Times editors, though the Israeli “atrocities” referenced in the sentence clearly represent only the allegations of anti-Israel campaigners, the wording suggests to readers that it’s indeed a fact. 

The Sunday Times agreed, and revised the sentence to add the word “alleged” to the sentence:


We thank editors at the paper for the prompt correction.


12 replies »

  1. Reading the article I would not have been drawn to this. Yet the constant repetition of comments like this eventually create the impression in readers minds that it is true. The addition of the single word alteration changes the entire perception of the article and brings a blatant statement into the realms of supposition rather than fact. Your work in highlighting and getting changes is both highly effective and much appreciated.

  2. “People of Palestine” should have been changed to “Arabs in the disputed territories” for accuracy. Will they call out the PA or Hamas, or any number of such groups for atrocities against the Jewish People, or the people of Israel? They have been committing them for decades and even, one could say, centuries. You’d think someone would have noticed by now. Will the SNP even acknowledge the brutal stabbings of little old ladies and children in Jerusalem or do they find this a form of legitimate political action consistent with democratic aspirations? Do they ever engage in such behavior themselves? I’m thinking here of the referendum in which Scotland decided to remain part the UK. Will those dissatisfied with that decision be heading off to London to stab women and small children, or run over English pedestrians waiting for a train or bus?

    • If you are in Scotland or the U.K.. perhaps contact the leadership of the SNP and raise your concerns. I confess a huge bias in favor of the notion that Scotland is a good place to construct cogent, coherent arguments that appeal to the “better angels of our nature.”
      In fact, that’s always a good idea, if you are allowed the space to do it!
      Far too early in a long game to “give up” on the Scots, who pride themselves on their sense of justice and fairness. Deal with them in good faith at arm’s length, hammering out your evidence about the truth, or the closest approximation of the historical truth, of Zionism and the Jewish homeland within the State of Israel, by bits and pieces. Some people listen and learn, as Adam proves by subjecting the UK Media to the same relentless scrutiny they ought by rights to hold themselves to, in a more ethical and sane world. Shalom.