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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Bad News From the Netherlands

Posted by Atilla89 on October 19, 2007

Everyone all knows about the bad press Israel gets from the world media institutions, its no secret. Of course many of these negative media images come from news reports that have no context, thereby distorting the publics view of Israel. Honest Reporting, a website which regularly reports on these issues has picked these negative stories up and tried to correct them. Recently they have sent me an email about this guy, Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, who has decided to start up a new blog called Bad News from the Netherlands. When most people think of the Netherlands, they think of the song Tulips from Amsterdam or of huge lovely windmills blowing in the cool breeze. However this blog seeks to show that even a peaceful country such as this can look bad if most of the news report are written without context. In its own words the blog seeks to “expose the frequent distortion of news about Israel by some Dutch journalists. This blog states up front that it provides only negative facts. It shows that by using real news stories without context, one can make any country look bad.” The blog itself uses only factual information and does not distort it; however, as I have said earlier it does not use context. Another similar blog that goes by the name of Bad News from Finland essentially does the same thing.

If anyone else is interested in creating similar blogs like these, there is no institution or anything like that, in which you have to belong to. All you have to do is obey a few guidelines that Dr. Gerstenfeld hs put up:

1 Always keep in mind the target of the blog: showing only negative items about a country makes its society aware of how some of their media distort the image of Israel.
2 Focus on items from leading sources such as the government, major media, well-known institutions.
3. Do not concentrate on one or a few areas. Deal with as many major aspects of the country as possible: government, politics, justice, media, culture, civil society, etc.
4. Do not exaggerate issues beyond what is mentioned. A collection of bad news is bad enough without blowing up the facts. Let the facts speak for themselves.
5. While one can draw part of the information from the more sensational papers, let them not dominate the blog.
6. Do not emphasize ethnicity of people where it is irrelevant to the issue.
7. When necessary, provide comments on issues which require it, but try to present the majority of issues without comment.

Dr Gerstenfeld also spoke with Honest Reporting, saying that “We hope that people in other countries will follow. “Bad News” is a typical example of how to shift paradigms. We do not spend our time exposing Dutch media distorters or writing letters to their editors. We just take their distorting methods to the extreme on their own country. At the same time we are honest while they are not. We tell upfront that we only publish negative news. I think that as the number of negative items on our website will grow, their cumulative effect will become very powerful. We should however never forget our ultimate goal: to force Dutch society to begin a debate on how many of its leading Dutch media distorts reporting on Israel.”

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