The AP’s “Martyrs”

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on February 1, 2006

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Directions

-Read the excerpt below from HonestReporting.com.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

The AP gives credibility to a mother who is proud of her terrorist sons.

The Associated Press describes Um Nidal…as the “mother of three Palestinian Martyrs” in the caption of a photograph about her candidacy:

Um Nidal, mother of three Palestinian martyrs delivering a speech at a celebration at the 18th foundation anniversary of Palestinian militant group, Hamas, on Friday, Dec.30, 2005, in the Syrian capital, Damascus. Hamas organized a celebration at Yarmouk refugee camp in southern Damascus with participation of 2000 Palestinians. (AP Photo / Bassem Tellawi)  [NOTE: The AP has removed this photo from the internet.]

Actually, her sons were terrorists and she makes no apologies for their actions. Listen to her proudly describe “putting aside her feelings for her son” in this chilling Hamas video clip. (Courtesy Palestinian Media Watch)

One of Nidal’s sons, Muhammad Farahat, was killed after he murdered five Jewish students in Atzmona in the Gaza Strip. Upon entering a school where many students were listening to a lecture, he threw grenades and sprayed the unarmed students with automatic weapon fire, killing five and wounding 24 others…

To describe these three terrorists as “martyrs” completely mischaracterizes the true nature of their deeds and the way they died.

Why would the AP cover Nidal giving a speech in Syria anyway? The unreported truth is that she was not just at an “anniversary celebration, ” she was actually campaigning in the upcoming elections for the Palestinian Authority. In addition to noting this, the caption might have mentioned the unusual nature of a Palestinian candidate campaigning for votes in Damascus [Syria]. Moreover, AP did not consider her “qualification” for elected office to be especially newsworthy.

AP’s caption of their photograph is grossly misleading.

HonestReporting.com suggests: “HR readers should ask the AP why they chose to use the word ‘Martyrs’ and whether we should expect more of the same in the future.  Comments to the AP: Feedback@ap.org

For the full report, go to HonestReporting.com.

Questions

Is it appropriate for the AP to describe terrorists as “martyrs”?  Explain your answer.


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

Opinion question.  Answers vary.