Thursday, December 23, 2010
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 23 December 2010
(Left: Cnaan Liphshiz)
"Haaretz has an international reputation as Israel's most liberal and reliable newspaper. But The Electronic Intifada has discovered that one of the newspaper's regularly-featured reporters, Cnaan Liphshiz, used his news reports for the publication to promote the agenda of an extreme pro-Israel group with which he was also employed.
At the same time, Liphshiz appears to have made efforts to conceal his work with the Dutch Zionist group CIDI (Centre for Documentation and Information on Israel), an undisclosed conflict of interest which calls into question the reliability of his reports and the editorial standards of Haaretz.....
While reporters and journalists may have affiliations to, and may advocate for political and activist groups in accordance with basic freedoms of association and expression, the essence of ethical practice is disclosure of these relationships whenever relevant, especially if they could be seen as affecting the reporter's work or judgment. In this case Liphshiz has been passing off his advocacy for CIDI as "news" reporting under the banner of Haaretz.
Perhaps Liphshiz sees his "journalism" work as a mere continuation of his time "as an intelligence corps researcher in a unit monitoring the intelligence apparatuses of hostile and rival entities" -- in which case disclosure would of course be a problem.
If Haaretz wishes to rescue its journalistic reputation it would be well-advised to ensure that it does not become a mere vehicle for political smear campaigns conducted by extremist organizations and their operatives."