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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

That 'NYT' Gaza Casualty Count

Tuesday:   The BBC did its own casualty count probe five days ago, following much of the same line as NYT, but today changed a key segment early in the piece.  Before, it read: "Nonetheless, if the Israeli attacks have been 'indiscriminate', as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed so many more civilian men than women. "  Today it's changed to: "Nonetheless, the proportion of civilian men over 18 killed seems high and it is not immediately obvious why."

They also added this:
Jana Krause, from the war studies department at Kings College London, says: "A potential explanation other than combatant roles could be that families expect them to be the first ones to leave shelters in order to care for hurt relatives, gather information, look after abandoned family homes or arrange food and water.

"Similar to combatant roles, these would be 'high-risk' social roles that young men are often expected to fulfil."

She stressed that more work would be needed on the ground to determine why this group was over-represented in the casualty figures.

Men of this age may also be mistaken for fighters because they fit the age profile.

Another response to Rudoren's skewed "counting," as a leading group says it has penned letter to the NYT editor in protest.  

Monday: I wrote a widely-linked piece last week about a particularly egregious NYT story by Jodi Rudoren which reflected Israel's spin that about half of all deaths in Gaza are "combatants/terrorists" and not civilians, vs. every other estimate, including the UN's, placing the figure at maybe 15-25%.  Patrick Connors, who has given me a few tips on other stories and penned some valuable pieces himself, is just out with a full probe of the same NYT piece and graphic.  He makes several good points, although his basic one is that the Times considers the cut-off age for children at 14.  And as I noted before, they also consider males 20 to 29 as likely "militants" even though there is no evidence for lumping so many of them in that category.  Connors did get a couple responses from Rudoren herself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Greg, for a fun time take the "Who Said This? Hillary Clinton or Benjamin Netanyahu?" quiz over at The Intercept. You could make up your own quiz by substituting the NYT for either.