Duplicate stories, multiple personalities

Duplicate stories

It is common for two different newspapers in the same country to present a wire story on Israel in two different ways. In such a case, one version can be interpreted as being subtly more pro-Palestinian or more pro-Israel than the other.

It is rare, however, for such a discrepancy to surface on the same wire story that appeared twice in the same paper on the same day. Such a bizarre occurrence, however, happened last week in Christchurch, New Zealand, in the September 5th edition of The Press.

On Page B4, in the syndicated column “On This Day”, The Press reported:

1972 – Eleven Israeli Olympic athletes, four Palestinian guerrillas and a West German policeman are killed in a gun battle at Munich airport.


Christchurch Press 1


Just nine pages later, on Page B13 in the sports pages, the same wire story was presented in a remarkably different light.

1972 – Eleven Israeli Olympians and four Arab terrorists were killed after the terrorists invaded the Olympic Village in Munich and attempted to leave for Egypt with the athletes as hostages.


The Press 2

When your sports editor has a better grasp of the news than your international news editor, perhaps it’s time to consider a shift of positions in the newsroom.

Ahron Shapiro

Clipping scans were slightly digitally manipulated for clarity of date and page in presentation.