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

The sentence in question runs counter to a fundamental rule of journalistic accuracy and professionalism - codified in the Editors' Code of Practice in the UK - demands that reporters clearly "distinguish between comment, conjecture and fact". As we wrote in our complaint to Times of London editors, though the "atrocities" referenced in the sentence clearly represents only the allegations of anti-Israel campaigners, the wording suggests to readers that that this is a fact.

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:

revised-times

We thank editors at the paper for the prompt correction.

 

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