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