CJPME launches groundbreaking Media Accountability Project

CJPME is thrilled to announce the launch of a new initiative to challenge media bias against Palestinians and Palestinian narratives. CJPME’s Media Accountability Project Website is home to this exciting new capability, where we monitor and confront media coverage which ignores, disparages or de-contextualizes Palestinian narratives.

After months of planning, we launched operations early last month, and have already had a huge impact. Many of Canada’s largest media outlets, and even wire services, have already adjusted their coverage as a result of our pressure. For example:

  • Just today, Tuesday, March 14, following pressure from CJPME, the Toronto Star corrected an article smearing an NDP candidate (see image below)
  • The National Post corrected an article that mis-quoted Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas
  • The hugely influential Associated Press corrected its description of Palestinians killed by Israelis, its description of the violence in Huwara, and incorrect figures on Israeli settlements
  • The Toronto Sun published an article about the Nakba and anti-Palestinian racism as a result of a CJPME complaint of bias (see image below)
  • The CBC’s Saša Petricic corrected an error in its reporting on Israel’s pogrom in Huwara as a result of a CJPME objection

Yannis Arab

Yannis Arab

Yannis Arab

The above are just a few examples of changes to media coverage on Palestine-Israel that CJPME has been able to bring about. We have dozens of different focus areas, including:

  • Countering anti-Palestinian racism in the media, to ensure that Palestinians are not excluded, defamed, or stereotyped
  • Insisting on better context for stories to ensure that, for example, Israel’s occupation and apartheid are mentioned more frequently
  • Challenging misleading media terminology to ensure that, for example, the term “illegal settlement” is used rather than “Israeli neighbourhood”
  • Demanding more diverse and inclusive coverage to ensure that Palestinian and pro-Palestinian voices are given equal credence with Israeli and pro-Israel voices

Impact Enabled through your Support

This new initiative was enabled through the generous support of CJPME’s donors. Can you help with a donation? Your support enables us to license the necessary technology, pay qualified staff, and maintain daily pressure for better media coverage.

How the “Media Accountability Project” Works

Through the support of our donors, CJPME has been able to license technology platforms which enable us to monitor ALL Canadian media, 7x24! This includes print, electronic, and even radio and TV. With radio and TV, we can even archive a clip, and access the transcript. These platforms also provide the contact information for journalists, editors, and media executives.

Ameer Idreis

Using these tools, our small staff meets each morning and reviews the problematic coverage of the previous day. After agreeing on a strategy, team members quickly draft a response and contact the journalist and media outlet responsible. Sometimes we ask for a correction, sometimes an editors note, sometimes we write a letter to the editor: each scenario is unique.

If the media outlet is unresponsive to our complaint, we launch a formal grievance with the appropriate journalistic body: the National NewsMedia Council (NNC) for print and electronic media, and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) for broadcast media. We already have several complaints pending before the NCC and the CBSC.

One more thing…

CJPME has been active on the media front for years – and our impact is well-documented. In the past, CJPME established a “Media Responders” team: people who agreed to be alerted to particularly awful media coverage on Palestine-Israel. While this strategy was very effective, we lacked the funding to support this capability on a consistent basis.

With the “Media Accountability Project,” we will be relaunching our “media alerts” capability, and invite people to sign up as Media Responders. Alerts are issued no more than once or twice a week, and Responders are asked to participate in the media alerts as frequently as possible. Once signed up, responders will be informed of alerts by email, and given the information necessary to develop and send a response.

Rania Jarrar

We are thankful for those who have been Media Responders in the past, and look forward to working with a new community of Responders moving forward. While there are no “hard and fast” qualifications for involvement, being a Responder is a privilege and opportunity, and individuals signing up as Responders are asked to agree to professional conduct as defined in our “Terms of Participation.”

CJPME will be in touch again soon to encourage more people to get involved as Media Responders.

Can you support our work?

CJPME's Media Accountability Project is only possible through the generosity of donors. If you believe in what CJPME is doing to pressure media for fair and unbiased coverage, please consider making a gift of financial support to CJPME. Our work depends entirely on private donations. Monthly donations are especially helpful, as they sustain our ongoing work and make it easier for us to strategize for the future. If you don't like to donate by credit card, you may donate via email transfer, over the phone (438-380-5410), or complete and mail in this form. Thank you!

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