The New York Times’ public editor has rebuked the paper for leaving out the details of Marwan Barghouti’s convictions in his op-ed this week.
Liz Spayd wrote Tuesday that “Barghouti is an unusually popular political figure among Palestinians, especially for a man behind bars … He was given five consecutive life terms after being convicted in an Israeli criminal court of premeditated murder for his role in terrorist attacks that killed five people, along with other crimes.”
Op-Ed editor Jim Dao told Spayd, “We are drafting an editors’ note that will provide that information.”
The Times published an op-ed by Barghouti on Sunday, in which he explains his and other prisoners in Israel’s reasons for beginning a mass hunger strike.
“Israel’s inhumane system of colonial and military occupation aims to break the spirit of prisoners and the nation to which they belong, by inflicting suffering on their bodies, separating them from their families and communities, using humiliating measures to compel subjugation,” he wrote. “In spite of such treatment, we will not surrender to it.”
Barghouti mentions his sentences, but not his convictions. In the note after his piece, Barghouti was described as “a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.” This omission led to a backlash, “in emails … and on social media — to what they say was The Times’s distorted characterization of Barghouti,” Spayd writes.
“This isn’t a new issue for the Opinion section. I have written before on the need to more fully identify the biography and credentials of authors, especially details that help people make judgments about the opinions they’re reading. Do the authors of the pieces have any conflicts of interest that could challenge their credibility? Are they who they say they are, and can editors vouch for their fidelity?
“I see no reason to skimp on this, while failing to do so risks the credibility of the author and the Op-Ed pages.”
Source: newsmax – NYT Public Editor: Op-Ed Author Omits His Crimes, and So Did the Times