Northumberland outlet corrects egregiously misleading article

The Hexham Courant – a weekly newspaper serving Tynedale in Northumberland, in Northeast England – upheld our complaint and corrected an egregiously biased and misleading article (“Hexham holds ‘eye-opening’ Israel/Palestine talk at centre”, June 22).

Specifically, the article conflated opinions with facts, which is inconsistent with the Accuracy clause of the Editors’ Code, which states “the Press, while free to editorialise and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.”
The article began:

Mike Reed of Amnesty International took time out of his holiday in Northumberland to visit St Mary’s Centre on Saturday, June 17 and give a talk on the Israel/Palestine situation.

The conflict between the two Middle Eastern countries is one of the world’s most enduring and continues to spark debate across the planet.

The UK, among many other nations, doesn’t recognise Palestine as a “country”, nor does it enjoy full membership at the UN.

The article continued:

Reed presented Amnesty International’s report from 2022 regarding the conflict and gave a rigorous explanation of the facts and effects of apartheid on the Palestinian people.

The fallacious report by Amnesty International alleging that Israel is an “apartheid” state, which is strongly refuted by many of the leading democracies, including the UK, is presented as a fact.

The article continued:

He was keen to point out the issues with the state of Israel; its inhumane systems, laws and processes such as segregation, fragmentation, displacement and dispossession – all of which are against International law.

Again, this is merely Amnesty’s accusation. Yet, it’s presented as if it’s an uncontroversial fact.  At no point in the article is Israel’s position provided – nor that of any other individual or group that disagrees with Amnesty’s position.
Editors responded to our complaint by deleting all of the problematic sentences we flagged.  Here’s the entire article after the edits:

Mike Reed of Amnesty International took time out of his holiday in Northumberland to visit St Mary’s Centre on Saturday, June 17 and give a talk on the Israel/Palestine situation.

Reed presented Amnesty International’s report from 2022 regarding the conflict.

One attendee said: “It was extremely eye-opening, but I came away feeling positive that there’s loads we can do, like boycotting Israeli settlement goods and spreading awareness of what’s actually happening to the Palestinians.”

After the talk, the meeting was divided into two workshops using resources from Sabeel Kairos UK, an organisation formed in response to the call from Palestinian Christians to the international church and communities to act in solidarity with them, working for a just peace in Israel and Palestine.

The event was organised by Alison Page of Hexham Amnesty and Pat Devlin of Hexham Kairos and was hosted by St Mary’s Justice and Peace Group.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Grimey

    There is absolutely no “Apartheid” in Israel and Amnesty well knows this as a fact.
    Where there is apartheid is in Gaza and the West Bank, where Jews are not only segregated but murdered.

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