The New York Times added an eye-catching editor’s note to a travel article about Israel.
The Times’ March 14 article was headlined, “Jaffa is Tel Aviv’s Unexpected Luxury Hotspot.”
The Times‘ article was a travel piece about the port of Jaffa, Israel. But the newspaper’s lengthy editor’s note said the article had been updated because it didn’t include background information on “Jaffa’s makeup and its history,” including “the expulsion of many residents in 1948.” The article also didn’t include the fact the new developments highlighted in the Times travel article was subject of “continuing controversy.”
The New York Times declined to comment to iMediaEthics beyond the editor’s note.
An article by Mondo Weiss, a website that identifies itself as an independent news site focused on Palestine and Israel, explains that the original article “completely ignores Palestinian history” and “offers a sanitized Jaffa that avoids any mention of the Palestinian point of view.”
MondoWeiss says this is the paragraph added to the article (the New York Times confirmed this to iMediaEthics):
“The gentrification hasn’t pleased everyone. Jaffa for centuries has been a stronghold of Arab and Muslim life. In 1948, when the State of Israel was founded, most of Jaffa’s Arab residents were forcibly removed from their homes. Today the district is one of the few areas of the country with a mixed Arab and Jewish population, and as luxury projects have moved in, so have accusations that the city’s Muslim history is being erased.”
The Times‘ March 17 editor’s note reads:
An article in Travel this weekend describes several new hotels and other high-end developments in Jaffa, the ancient port adjacent to Tel Aviv. In focusing exclusively on those new additions, the article fails to touch on important aspects of Jaffa’s makeup and its history — in particular, the history and continuing presence of its Arab population and the expulsion of many residents in 1948. Because of this lapse, the article also did not acknowledge the continuing controversy about new development and its effect on Jaffa. After readers pointed out the problem, editors added some of that background information to the online version, which is available at nytimes.com/travel.