Press Responsibility


Thank you for emphasizing the “key role” that an independent press plays “in a democratic society” in your Aug. 17 editorial, “Speaking Up For Our Mission.” The problem is that, according to Pew and other polls, most Americans do not trust the media to tell the truth, so that President Trump’s crude fulminations of “fake news” do resonate.

Yes, journalists “are the people” and not “enemies,” but that also makes them susceptible to taking sides in the huge divides that bedevil America. 

As a tiny [population of] Jewish people, we need to be particularly on guard. It took The New York Times 60 years to admit they significantly underreported the Holocaust, but [there is] still no accounting of how many tens of thousands of Jews might have been saved if the public had been properly informed. Just recently, much of the mainstream media accused Israel of massacring Palestinian “civilians” trying to penetrate Israel’s border and murder/kidnap Israelis, in spite of Hamas’ public bragging that most of the victims were their “militants.” Such reflexive blame-Israel reporting likely encourages more Hamas aggression, which leads to the deaths of both Israelis and Palestinians.

Responsibility for credible media is a two-way street.