Journalism for solving problems of modern world, - Ben-Dror Yemini
Author of “Industry of Lies” about challenges and opportunities for journalism
Ben-Dror Yemini is one of the leading Israeli journalists. He has a background in Law and Humanities and had published 2 books which deal in a critical way with politics and society in Israel ("Political Punch", 1986) and with Israeli-Arab conflict as one of the greatest frauds which involves the radical left, human rights groups, pro-Palestinian organizations, radical Islam and the journalists all over the world (“Industry of Lies”, 2014).
Ben-Dror Yemini is an independent journalist and person; he expresses his views, not opinions of the political parties and governments. He is confident that journalists can both help in revealing the truth and hiding it, and world journalism has both challenges and opportunities.
About describing and estimating the world and national conflicts:
Journalists don’t have any kind of exemption of describing the real story, the big story. You are allowed to your opinion and you are not allowed to your own facts. Because facts are facts and people ignore facts many times.
Most of us give explanations and excuses if something is contradicting our views. Often journalists describe only a part of the truth expressing their own view or the opinion of some political wing. They should put the real facts rather than say our or someone else opinions. And it concerns the numbers too. Facts and numbers. Journalists are responsible for them. Readers can find so many lies that reveal during any national or world conflict. That’s a dark side of journalism.
When I’m collecting information, I always prefer to text the minimal numbers. When I want to prove what I want to prove I don’t have to go to the higher numbers.
Like a researcher modern journalist should make the comparisons – for example, how many civilians were killed by one and another sides of the conflict. It’s important to keep in mind who exactly is committing the crime in the country against peaceful citizens, to see the whole picture, to understand the true consequences of the conflict. And then to publish not only numbers which readers won’t later recognize but proportions.
When I read the Western media, as a journalist I’m much more frustrated because I see and I read how they manipulate their readers again and again. I read so many articles claiming that Israel is committing so many crimes against humanity. After Gaza conflict journalist named Israel is a nation of children killers.
It’s fair enough to criticize Israel in many aspects. Nobody’s perfect and nobody’s beyond criticism. But also there is a huge amount of manipulations in the media. In this kind of situation numbers are enough to reveal the truth. When exactly it was happened, how much people exactly participated? Everyone can review the numbers in different sources and decide are the authors manipulating or not. These secret games took place in many conflicts and journalists should be able to resist this.
About rules and censorship:
When I read critical articles about Israel - I’m proud. Because it means only one thing – not what was written there is correct, but Israel is a democracy. This is the freedom of speech. We don’t have a censorship about views. Only when it is military information, it happens so rarely, but there is not censorship on opinions. You can express any view that you want in Israel.
About pressure on journalists when it comes to corruption and economic interests:
I think Israel is the only one state in the world where the ex-president and the ex-PM are in jail right now. The rules are for all. No one has an exemption.
There is no pressure in work in a country where the ex-president and the ex-PM are in jail. Compliance with laws is the best proof. The situation when people can publish their views and thoughts. Sometimes readers are amazed by some journalists and writers, because of what they are publishing. Sometimes it’s difficult to agree. And another side reveals when lies are included many times in different articles and Internet posts because of the freedom of speech. Jurists may not agree that it’s the right way to describe surrounding events. But as a result society benefits from expressing different opinions. After all, political correctness may become a way of silencing too.
Speaking about liberating, every society –Jewish, Muslim, Christian– should liberating the women, and then society can liberate itself. Every society that is oppressing half of them is going to be oppressed. Freezing woman you will freeze a community.
When we take a look on developed societies – how can them doing well in modern world, with its economy, social and scientific issues? People ask is it because the racism or discrimination, colonialism or imperialism. Compare successful and backward societies. You know what the difference? Status of women. Not imperialism or colonialism. Women make an enormous contribution to the progress and development. So that countries which help their women became successful.
About journalist’s mission:
I don’t have any problem with liberalists or right-wingers. We live in democratic society. I want to use my very limited power as a journalist, as a writer, as a researcher just to present the facts. What I’m doing, I’m doing in my writing, in my journalist’s work. I do publish articles aiming to show different points of view and true facts. With my little power I can’t balance everything but I’m trying to.
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