Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Melodramatic Murdoch style lowers reporting accuracy at Wall Street Journal

The Murdoch effect is already visible at the Wall Street Journal, if the latest hyperventilating article from reporter Bob Davis about the Erez crossing into Gaza is typical of the new corporate tone. His writing's more suited to a middle level college's student rag than for the informed readership of the venerable WSJ. Arrgh. A savvy McClatchy group blogger, Dion Nissenbaum, noted a distinct dip in quality, too, but observed that it was, after all, the guy's "first real reporting trip to the Gaza Strip".
His piece ended up revealing much more about his own misconceptions than it did about Gaza...Davis leaves millions of readers with the misconception that all Palestinians in Gaza are dangerous, conniving would-be terrorists waiting for the right opportunity to snatch Westerners and cut off their heads.

For some reason, Davis's fevered (and uninformed?) imagination conflates walking through a protected international crossing that is crawling with security with the ordeal of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was grabbed in the back lanes of Karachi, Pakistan, and eventually beheaded.
Different circumstances, different country. Hamas is not Al Qaeda. There have been no abductions of Westerners for more than a year, and the strip is under a negotiated ceasefire at the moment. But heh, these non-English speaking Muslims scare me, guys. Nudge nudge. Mind you, the Davis travesty was published in the travel section, where veracity is not the point.
But this is a heads up about the direction the Wall Street Journal is headed.

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