August 02, 2006

Letters To The Editor For August 2nd | printable version

Can Journalists Ever Really Be Unbiased?

Thank you for giving space to Yachoved Golani. I am still mulling over the difference between reporting and journalism. Here at home we get mostly reporting, I think. The writing is according to politics and the reader has to work hard to discover just what the truth is. I can understand that but, as a columnist, I don't understand her use of the term "journalism". She seems to be saying that one is honest and the other is not. One thing becomes clearer. There can be no taking of sides by those who would inform the public. That is the ideal but it is not always the case. Some writing even by major columnists and freelancers is biased. I wonder if any writing is not biased.

Voices like Golani's must be heard and I applaud my favorite writer's magazine for making that possible. Dick Learned

Good job, Angela, on soliciting Working Under the Gun for this week's edition. Few Americans are aware of the bias in news reporting that often perpetuate out-and-out lies. I'm glad Yocheved Golani set the record straight, and even more glad that you gave her a forum to air the truth. As we say in Hebrew, yasher koach!

Best regards,
Cindy Gallagher
FAR ABOVE RUBIES
http://www.cynthiapolansky.com

A Non-Religious View of the Situation

I enjoyed Yocheved Golani's report.

It's no surprise that the bellicosity of a war or other conflict extends to journalistic coverage of it.

I take a non-religious view of the situation.

I think it's best to keep faith out of public policy and international policy decisions.

"God said so" or "God gave us such and such" are statements difficult to back up in court.

However, the archeological record does show that Jews inhabited the Land of Ancient Israel, which stretched from the area of Suez to the banks of the Euphrates.

To say that Jews should not have some sliver of that area where they can enjoy self-determination is like saying that the Greeks don't deserve Greece or that Native Americans don't deserve reservations.

There's a fact not often discussed that takes ambiguity out of the question altogether.

During the WWII era, there were about one million Jews living throughout the Middle East in countries including Egypt, Iraq and Iran. They were virtually all descendents of the ancient Hebrews and many of them belonged to families that had inhabited the region since ancient times.

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, al-Hassani, actively collaborated with the Nazis in an attempt to extend the notorious "final solution" to the Middle East. He was abetted in that by other Muslim religious and political figures.

Had the allies not won the war, the one million Jews in the Middle East would have been exterminated.

If that doesn't make clear why these people deserve some sliver of their ancient homeland where they can enjoy self-determination, what would?

Because Israel is a democracy and has Arab-Israelis in its parliament, I've never understood why Jews should be banned from living in the Arab areas. Yet, the "Palestinians" won't tolerate a single Jewish person in their midsts. And then when the Jews vacate, as they did in Gaza, their reward is missiles fired at them, their territory invaded and their soldiers killed or kidnapped and held as blackmail pawns towards the release of convicted Islamic terrorist prisoners.

Futhermore, I view the Israelis' struggle against Islamic totalitarianism as being our struggle, too. I have read the Koran from cover to cover so I know what's in a Muslim's head. Muslims have the stated aim of imposing a global caliphate. The prospect is horrifying. Sharia, Islamic law calls for a woman who gets pregnant out of wedlock to be whipped 275 times. It calls for homosexual persons to be killed, and says that a good way of killing them is to throw them off high buildings.

In today's Iran, listening to Western music, be it Beethoven or Britney, is illegal. That might seem trivial in comparison to the dangers to life and limb described above, but it is germane to the general point that these are totalitarians who want to very severely limit others' freedoms.

What do people think the 9/11 attacks were about, anyhow?

We Americans must stand WITH Israel now, so we don't have Hezbollah, Hamas and al-Qaeda standing ON us later.

Just some lighthearted thoughts, inspired by Yocheved's essay. By all means, forward this message to her if you deem that appropriate. I think the Israelis need to know we are behind them 100%.

Hugs!

Scott

Bogus Proofreading Test!

Hi Angela,

I have read about this topic many times over the years I've subscribed to WritersWeekly, and I think it's worthwhile to mention this again. I responded to another ad for a freelance proofreader, and the "test" I received was a nine-page, single-spaced academic paper! I am not going to waste hours of my time proofing it in hopes of landing the gig. As WritersWeekly has told readers, it is probably just a way to get some free proofreading and I'll never hear from them again.

I e-mailed the "editor" and told her I would proof one page as a test, but no more, as I was unsure of her motives. Why should I waste my time only to most likely never hear from this "editor" again? A one-page test is reasonable, but nine pages of academic content? I don't think so. There are plenty of other jobs out there, many of them legitimate. This one may not be, and I'm not going to chance it.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest!

Laura Gater
Freelance writer
http://www.geocities.com/laura_gater
Author of Writing for Professional Medical Publications

The Mag That Threatened "Tortuous Interference"

Dear Angela,

I read with gusto your emails and weekly columns and have to say how much I've enjoyed reading about you and your family as well as look forward to the listings.

I just wanted to tell you how great your answer was about the magazine that threatened tortuous interference. I really think these folks in their offices up in the skies forget about our constitution and think they can push anyone around that they wish based on legal mumbo-jumbo.

Although not a publishing issue, a friend of mine was pushed and poked over an issue at a former employer's (after she had left and started a new job) and was told not to tell anyone of questions she had to endure by a lawyer for the former employer! Fearful she'd get herself or someone else in trouble, she told only a few people and thought it was the end of her world. After convincing her to contact a lawyer, he said to her the same thing you've said...Freedom of Speech!!! Unless a judge puts a gag order on it, you can say whatever you wish. The issue has never come to any legal investigation or conclusion and we're thinking it was just strong-arming of someone who did nothing wrong...

Thanks for reminding everyone of what our great country was built upon!

Rose Strong

My Time to Whine: When A Contest Sponsor Gets FED UP!

Hi Angela,

I just read your article about the quarterly contest, MY TIME TO WHINE. I love it! I have to tell you, I enter the contest very quarter and, for the last two, I haven't gotten my entry in at all. I just started in real estate and the time flies by and I don't have time to get it done. However, in the fall, I will. I've decided I need to devote more time to me and my writing and less to everyone else.


On a funny note, I did look up Mixin Fixion and I separated them. Found out that Fixion had ties to combining different genres of music done in the sixties and early seventies. That would have been my bent on the story and I may still write it just for the fun of having it because it was an awesome story lead.

Your newsletter brightens my days and keeps me realizing exactly what I really want to do with my life.write! You're Awesome! Well better go enter next season's competition.


Debbie Spotleson
SCBWI Member

---

I enjoyed your piece about sponsoring the writing contest.

In my professional capacity, I sponsored a contest in another field, and received many of the same complaints you did. One contestant even told me she knew one of the winners cheated and asked me flat-out how much I was bribed.

Keep up the good work--I continue to enjoy your newsletter.

-Name not published on request

 




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