Media and the Middle East

Where do you get your news about the Middle East?

It’s an important question. Most of the media reporting on Israel and the Middle East have a definite anti-Israel slant. Even very respectable news organizations have been sloppy or downright biased in their reporting.

For instance, a week ago the New York Times printed an article that cast considerable doubt that the Temple had ever stood on the Temple Mount. It noted that this is a “politically loaded question.” Then it proceeded to present the information in a politically slanted way. For a look at the problems with the original article, I recommend The New York Times Goes Truther on the Temple Mount in Tablet Magazine.

Last year the Atlantic printed an article by AP reporter Matti Friedman, What the Media Gets Wrong about Israel. In it he talks about the reasons for the reporting, and why “the pipeline of information from Israel is not just rusty and leaking, but intentionally plugged.” In another example, he notes that “the construction of 100 apartments in a Jewish settlement is always news; the smuggling of 100 rockets into Gaza by Hamas is, with rare exceptions, not news at all.”

So where do I get my news about Israel? Here are some (free) outlets that I follow:

The Times of Israel – A Jerusalem-based English language online newspaper. The founding editor is UK-born Israeli journalist David Horowitz.

The Mideast Reporter – Here’s how they describe themselves: “an independent nonprofit news organization with an ambitious purpose: to improve the standards of journalism on the Israeli-Palestinian and other Middle East conflicts, and a variety of related topics. Among them are Iran; the financing of global terrorism; Islamic extremism; and the boycott-Israel movement. We will accomplish our mission by producing groundbreaking investigative journalism on significant subjects that do not receive adequate attention, and by critiquing articles and broadcast segments that fail to meet professional standards.

The Jerusalem Post – The venerable JPost is a bit more political than the Times of Israel or the Mideast Reporter.  It has a distinct right-wing bent. However, for quick information about what’s happening, particularly in a crisis, it offers solid and local information.

Al Jazeera America – Just from the name and the logo, it’s clear that this is not an Israeli organization. My reason for choosing them as my non-Israeli source for news is that I know and trust John Michael Seigenthaler, their American news anchor. Al Jazeera America (as distinct from Al Jazeera) does its reporting with journalistic ethics.  I care about hearing both sides of every story – I just insist that the telling come from a place of journalism, not jingoism.

I also subscribe to, but it is behind a paywall. If you are serious about following Israeli news, you should consider a subscription.

Where do you get your news about the Middle East? How do you decide whom to trust?