In Journalism, Credibility is Currency

A few months ago I created a video showing how Israel’s Channel 10 news re-edited an interview conducted by one newscaster, in order to make it seem like it was done by another. I concluded my post saying:

…unlike other professions like advertising, sales or law where honesty is no longer expected — in journalism, credibility is currency. We don’t expect our newsmen to lie to us — not intentionally, not wittingly — and finding out otherwise is disheartening.

My video was quoted a couple of times, most notably in an article by Oren Persico in The 7th Eye, Israel’s media review website. With this minor brouhaha, I hoped the Israeli media would look at the big picture, understand the impact doctored footage makes on the viewers, and draw the appropriate conclusions. Apparently that was not the case, as Channel 10 chose to suspend the newscaster that ‘got caught’, while knowing full well this practice continues.

Today, on Channel 2 another such incident was revealed when newscaster Oren Weigenfeld wanted to show an interview “we conducted an hour ago” but the footage that was played was not the ready-for-air version, but the raw material where it is quite clear he is not the one conducting the interview, but acting for the camera while a pre-taped interview is being played.

H/T: Ynet

Tonight on Your Evening News: Cast Lead and Must Leather

Wars don’t happen in winter anymore
Even for us it is a bit too cold to hate
Wars don’t happen in winter anymore
Even for us it’s a bit too cold to conquer
   – – “Big Hero” by Si Himan (translated from Hebrew)

Channel 10 anchorwoman Miki Haimovich (right) and senior defense correspondent Alon Ben-David (left) modeling wartime leatherwear - December 28, 2008

I have already written on Israeli journalists playing dress-up, but that was during peacetime. Now that a new war might be imminent, it seems our journalists collectively decided to wear uniform in the form of leather jackets. I have been glued to the TV screen during the past few days, zapping between Channel One, Channel Two and Channel Ten – and it looks like one hideous leatherwear catalog from the 1990’s that magically came to life:

Leather by Gaza - Mixed Channels

We already knew soldiers have their standard operating procedures – but now we know TV newsmen have them too.
Continue reading Tonight on Your Evening News: Cast Lead and Must Leather