AIJAC disappointed at Fairfax headline

AIJAC is disappointed at the headline “Mother and child killed by air strike” for the otherwise reasonable August 10 Isabel Kershner report on the Hamas-Israel violence in the Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

AIJAC Executive Director Colin Rubenstein stated, “While we understand that headlines often highlight the most newsworthy aspect of a report, it is also important that they provide some context. The context here was that Israel was responding to a barrage of rockets and mortars fired by Hamas at Israeli civilians, basically a war crime. Furthermore, Israel’s response was targeted purely at Hamas military infrastructure, with the deaths of the mother and child a tragic accident.

“This headline contrasts most unfavourably with a July 16 headline in the Age and Herald, ‘Ceasefire after Hamas rocket spree’. This time, at the very least, the Hamas barrage should have been mentioned in the headline. It is worth noting, for example, that the headline in the original New York Times report was the far more appropriate ‘Renewed fire between Israel and Gaza interrupts talk of ceasefire’,” Dr Rubenstein concluded.


Addendum – 13 August 2018

AIJAC is pleased to note that the problematic headline “Mother and child killed by air strike” has now been changed to “Talk of cease-fire between Israel, Hamas interrupted by cross-border fire.” AIJAC thanks the editors of both papers for their professionalism and responsiveness to community concerns.