Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Double Standards at Journalism School

This reported by Jesse Kline at the Western Standard.

After going home for Christmas to visit with friends and family, I found myself confronting my second semester of journalism school. This semester, we were expected to participate in a blogging assignment. Two posts a week on a specific topic. I was excited that I finally had a chance to stop pretending to be objective and start writing what was really on my mind.
My first post was on the war in Gaza and the problems I had with students and pundits who claimed that Israel was using a disproportionate amount of force. "If Israel sent in missiles without aiming, would that be proportional? If Israel deliberately fired upon civilian, rather than military targets, would that be proportional? Because that is exactly how Hamas has been terrorizing the innocent people living in Southern Israel.… Of course, I would not expect information such as how Israeli hospitals are treating injured Palestinians, while Palestinian hospitals are allowing Hamas agents to shoot injured prisoners in their hospital beds, to be disseminated in a lefty institution like a Canadian university," I wrote.

Before I was able to publish the piece, I was pulled into my professor's office and told that my writing was unacceptable; that I was unqualified to write on the war in Gaza because I am not a international relations expert and I've never served with the Israeli army. He also said that the piece was too opinionated and that I would have to provide proof of everything I said, including my assertion that Hamas is a terrorist organization, even though it is listed as such by both the American and Canadian governments.

I initially gave my professor the benefit of the doubt and switched my topic. After receiving feedback on my next post, I asked for examples of best practises and was sent to a blog post written by one of my classmates. She also wrote about the war in Gaza, but she was on the opposite side of the issue, claiming that Israel was using disproportionate force and that the Canadian government was wrong not to condemn it. It quickly became apparent to me that my previous post had been censored, not for any of the reasons I was given, but because my political opinions conflicted with those of my professor.

And what were the other student's qualifications to write on Gaza?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

By the professors standards most journalists would be unqualified to write on the war in Gaza.