Photos and TV images are the most difficult to balance in journalistic reports, according to an article in the NY TImes, and the Hezbullah/Israel conflict has been among the most difficult, the article says.
But the attempt to balance the photo of a dead Israeli child with that of a dead Lebanese child is seen by some as “a dereliction of journalistic duty.:
“Some critics of Israel argue that because the death tolls and destruction are greater in Lebanon, a proportionality of sorts should inform the resulting reports; anything else betrays a pro-Israeli stance. But supporters of Israel say such an approach bestows a misguided moral equivalence. Israel is a democratic nation exercising its right to self-defense, they argue, while Hezbollah is a terrorist organization that uses the Lebanese people as human shields.”
Certainly there is no moral equivalence here, with the Hezbollah terrorists responsible for attacking a legitimate and democratic nation. But journalistic balance should not infer moral equivalence, although it takes some wisdom by the reader/viewer (always a risk) to separate the morality from the equivalence of human tragedy.
It’s an interesting article on a tough daily struggle for responsbile news organizations.