Former AP Reporter Confirms Matti Friedman Account

TABLET MAG
by Stephanie Butnick
September 19, 2014

Former AP reporter says Jerusalem bureau pulled his 2009 story about Israeli peace offer

Last month, former Associated Press reporter Matti Friedman published an essay in Tablet highlighting how, and why, news organizations get Israel so wrong. The AP’s Jerusalem bureau, where Friedman used to work, was the subject of much of his criticism. He argued that the bureau stuck to a preexisting narrative of Israeli extremism and Palestinian moderation. One of his examples that his former employer stifled stories that presented a divergent narrative came from 2009, when two of his colleagues had a story about a peace proposal from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that Palestinian leadership rejected. Both the Israelis and Palestinians confirmed this, but editors pulled the piece.

Steven Gutkin, the former AP bureau chief in Jerusalem, who hired Friedman in 2006, wrote a response in which he denied the charge that the story was pulled due to editorial bias, asserting that the information discovered by the reporters, namely a map depicting a proposed land swap, was old news. (Friedman addressed Gutkin’s response here on the Scroll last week. Gutkin has since published a rebuttal.)

Now, Mark Lavie, a former colleague of Friedman’s at the AP in Jerusalem and the author of Broken Spring, has weighed in, identifying himself as one of the reporters involved in writing about the 2009 peace offer blog post directed to Gutkin. He confirms Friedman’s account of the story being pulled……

READ MORE
http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/185121/former-ap-reporter-confirms-matti-friedman-account

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