The NYT’s Flawed Coverage of the Gaza Protest

Photo by Matthew Hutchinson | Public Domain

The New York Times is justly renowned for its news reporting.  Its articles and headlines are generally accurate and insightful.   Yet its recent coverage of the Gaza March to Return protests appears deeply flawed.

In the past I would have voiced my complaints to the Times’ Public Editor. Unfortunately, however,  the newspaper eliminated that watchdog position last year.  So I turned by default to the person with overall responsibility for news reporting: Executive Editor Dean Baquet.

Because the Times’s articles referenced in my letters below contain some misstatements, inaccuracies and serious omissions, I felt it important to raise questions about journalism quality with Mr. Baquet, the person with overall quality control.  The relevant parts of my letters are reproduced below.

Re: “Israel Kills Dozens at Gaza Border as U.S. Embassy Opens in Jerusalem,” May 14, 2018, and “After Deadly Protests, Gazans ask: What Was Accomplished,” May 18, 2018.

+ Why the several references to a “border fence”?   The fence is not a border between countries, but rather an enclosure of two million people in an open-air prison (along with air and sea blockade).

+ Why the insistence that Hamas “organized the protests”?  Several on-the-ground observers called the protests mostly unorganized and the huge turnout largely spontaneous– with Hamas merely adding its encouragement and support. The “March”…

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