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Fighting Lies About Israel In the Media | Simon Plosker from HonestReporting on the TRIBECAST

An Honest Conversation with Honest Reporting's Editorial Director, Simon Plosker.

Simon Plosker shares his knowledge about the evolution of misreporting about Israel, speed of change in the digital age and how this evolution has created new challenges on the digital front lines in the war against lies.

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This rough transcript includes the details of this conversation but please note that some parts may match 100% the audio.

Katz 0:00

We're here with Simon Plotsker, editorial director of honest reporting. Thanks for making the time, Simon. It's my pleasure. What's your history of honest reporting. It's been a couple of decades almost, no?

Plosker 0:08

I joined on us reporting back in November 2005. And I was there for another 14 and a half years, I left for a little bit. I joined United Nations watch, and other fantastic organization and I've returned back home just in the last four months.

Katz 0:25

Amazing. Well, good to have you back home. Today, I'd like to talk about the evolution of the digital warfare. It used to be like blast out the New York Times terrible article headlines and whatnot. Tell me about that process of when it dawned on you guys that you're actually pushing traffic to the New York Times and that approach had to switch.

Plosker 0:47

We've changed over the years, because, you know, gone are the days where you'd have one article a day that would come out of somewhere like the New York Times, and then you'd be able to spend literally a day or even two days sort of taking it apart, and then putting something out there online, and out to your mailing list. Today, of course, it's bang, bang, bang, we want to 24/7 or I'm gonna say 24, six news cycle, where we have to put stuff out as and when it's happening. And of course, it's no longer one article a day two articles, where we're looking in, you know, loads more places, you know, the media itself has changed dramatically over the years. Whereas perhaps we'd be looking at sort of mainstream media obviously, we've mentioned the New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC, or the the usual ones that we all will know and not particularly love. And now we've got a whole load of other, if we could call them boutique media sites, I mean, every today everyone considers themselves to be a journalist, anyone with a a cell phone is a journalist,

Katz 1:52

You're referring to like YouTubers, and everyone.

Plosker 1:53


Katz 1:54

Anyone and everyone.

Plosker 1:54

Yeah, and you know, they'll send these things to places like Vox VICE News, just stuff going out on Twitter, Instagram, only recently, we've opened a TikTok accounts. And, you know, as you said, I've been doing this for quite a while, you know, these are things that you know, my kids are using. But we've had to, you know, we had to keep up with the the times we have to adapt to where the the battle is here.

Katz 2:20

We're fighting anti semitism, we're fighting media bias against Israel. But maybe there are times where we actually put more gasoline in the fire by sharing those particular articles and adding more viewers to see such bigotry and falsehoods.

Plosker 2:38

I think it's a valid point, I definitely get it. And there are certain things which may be if they're that horrific, we'll take perhaps screenshots and put it on our own post, rather than giving a link to someone to go and have a look and driving traffic there. But unfortunately, I think we have to recognize these things that they're out there. And in the overall scheme of things were small. I just saw a study in the last couple of days, which pretty much showed statistically, that all of the pros are advocates on places like Twitter and Instagram, we are, we're almost operating in an echo chamber, we are almost divorced from where the main action is. The main actually is happening over there, we're kind of somewhere over here in a very, very small space. And unfortunately, the only way that we're going to break out of this echo chamber, this this sort of self imposed bubble, if you will, is if we have to go over to where that action is happening. And unfortunately, where the action is happening is essentially a sewer, but we're gonna have to get our hands dirty, we're gonna have to get in there and start responding directly to all these horrendous charges and libels and the anti semitism that's, that's out there. Because we can talk amongst ourselves and say how awful it is. But if we're not there actually getting our message out to the uninformed people who are being poisoned by this, this sort of stuff, then we're wasting our time. And there's no way I'm planning on wasting my time or my organization's time. We've got to be there. We've got to be there, responding directly.

Katz 4:17

It's interesting how the algorithms have actually almost created the polarization that societies are seeing whether it be left or right. Whether it be pro this or anti that, you know, the algorithms are certainly contributing greatly. And not just that, but adversaries, nation and non nation states. At TRIBE Journal we did a documentary on this on how Twitter is weaponized in order to create and foster more [conflict] like dumping gasoline on that polarization creating more of a bonfire with their specific intention of getting countries to destroy themselves from within. So, what you're saying is very interesting to me because you're saying that process where you have almost created your own little end echo chamber, that not only [are you] not reaching the people that needed most, right? In activism, you have 40% 40% and it's the 20% in the middle, right? You're not going to convince the other 40%. But, but the 20%, in the middle is the target, so to speak. And if that's the case, you're saying, you're really boxed in, in a certain way, because of the algorithmic calculations that they that they actually foster you to be in your own echo chamber, and you want to break out of that now tell, tell us, how do you intend to do that? Like, you don't have to give us the whole roadmap here? Obviously, it's, you're in the middle of World War Three, online, but what are some ways that this can be accomplished.

Plosker 5:41

I would actually say that the sort of the center ground that people who can be convinced either way is is larger than 20%, which is a good thing but unfortunately, places like Twitter rely, the algorithms rely on getting people angry, you know, getting people enraged. The stuff that's been put out there against Israel against the Jewish people is it's enraging to us and of course, it's sort of click baity to people who don't know any better. One thing I'm not going to do is I'm not going to descend to that level. And perhaps, you know, my one on one hand is tied behind my back, because I'm not going to go to the sort of lengths that the opposition are going to the same way that we're going to be demonized by them. I'm not prepared to start demonizing innocent people, for example, there are people out there who will say terrible things about the Palestinians, for example. But we're not we're not going to stoop to that sort of level. What we will do is give out information and videos and content that will appeal to a wider range of people. So we're not just talking to ourselves, we're not just preaching to the the choir, if you will, it's got to be stuff. Unfortunately, as I said, I've been doing this a long time now. And it actually hurts me that the average attention span of the viewer these days is a little bit more than a goldfish. So, we have to adapt, we have to get those talking points, the messages have to be broken down into something that's going to be in the space of a minute, a minute and a half tops. Yeah, I personally, you know, I come by I'm old school, you know, I'd prefer to read a whole you know, I'm a megilla, maybe not a megilla, but you know something with a little bit more meat on it. But these days, the kids, the stuff, they're looking at? My son, is 15 at the moment. So he thinks he's an expert on tick tock, and Instagram, all these things. "Dad, you need to catch me in the first three seconds." That's like, seriously? Three seconds, you haven't got the patience to sit and wait longer than three seconds to find out if this video is interesting to you? No, he hasn't. And that's what we're working with now. So it is what it is. But we've got to we've got to appeal to these people.

Katz 8:14

It's very interesting what you're saying. I mean, I think statistically, they found that three seconds and 10 seconds were major benchmarks that's the algorithm (not just your son), but the algorithms actually tune into the three second mark. If a person clicks off in three seconds, then that's not going to rise to the top of the trending or whatever measurements that they use to measure these things. But what you're saying is a totally different ballgame now. It's really, if you're putting out that short, one minute or whatever it is... a 30 second clip, I think it's very interesting the way you put it that people share what they're enraged about, and according to Professor Jonah Berger, over at the Wharton School, emotion is a big driver of virality online and offline actually. So, how many people are that passionate about truth that they would click on it? Because again, you have to somehow reach more than the people who'd be angry about a biased headline.

Plosker 9:09

The beauty of the algorithm is that if the people out there spreading the hate are the ones sort of getting people enraged, maybe getting people upset about Israel about what those Jews are doing.... We can use that advantage because if we're putting our stuff in those particular conversations, then other people are going to be looking at this and they'll also be getting enraged, perhaps they'll be getting enraged at the response that we're giving as well. And of course, it reaches a wider audience. And at least...

Katz 9:38

Will they? I mean, think about it. Let's try to bring this down a little. Two people were murdered in cold blood, and then there was a riot and a lot of headlines trending right now don't mention anything about the murder at this point.

Plosker 9:54

So I think we have to distinguish with your audiences here. So there's a big difference between the sort of audiences looking at the headlines of places like the these titans, that we were talking about, the New York Times, Washington Post BBC, etc. And the sort of people that are into the blood libels, and the the horrendous anti semitism that's being spread out there. And some of it, of course, is coming from influencers and of course, we've had the whole thing with Kanye West or ye, or whatever he wants to call himself these days. I can think of a lot of things I'd like to call them, none of which I can say on camera. But there's a big difference there. So, there's two ways of dealing with this. We're going to be in the conversation with with those where the anti semitism is and the anti Israel and the anti Zionism. And we're also going to be taking apart things like the headlines and putting out actual facts and content and what you may want to call the truth of what's actually going on here because that's also important,

Katz 10:56

Calling them out when they say falsehood, how does that impact their bottom line per se? Or is it just to chip away at their believability and public trust?

Plosker 11:05

I think it's a mixture of all of these. Ultimately, we are definitely out there as being truth tellers, if you will. It's important that we see ourselves as educators as well. It's not just about getting the record straight with a media outlets. We've got to educate not only the wider public, but also our own people as well. There are lots and lots of people who are sympathetic towards Israel who are out there right now desperately looking for answers. They're, they're picking up their copy of the local paper, and they're seeing these terrible headlines and the awful stories, and they're wondering, you know, what, what's going on? And, you know, on campus, for example, you know, the students are, you know, facing terribly, terribly tough times and, and they want to withdraw you they may be pro Israel, but it's not worth their while, because they do not want to stick their head above the parapet, and we have to arm them with facts that they can use.

Katz 12:03

That sounds more like hasbara and not fighting the false headlines. How are you arming them by just giving them the ammunition to say, well, that article was was misleading? Or are you saying that's the springboard for the true story?

Plosker 12:19

No, it is the springboard for the true story and in terms of the content we produce, there's a variety of things we can use here. We mentioned the short videos for people with short attention spans, but our bread and butter, if you will, is the the more detailed takedowns of particular articles where we'll pick them apart, we'll give out the facts, the stuff that was missing, the context that should have been in there, tearing apart factual errors as well, getting the corrections, but we also do you know, larger pieces as well. For example, one of my editors suggested just today that we need to put out something that explains the will go back to the Oslo Accords. What is the difference between areas A, B, and C in in the West Bank, Judea and Samaria? And why is it that, you know, everyone is saying, "Oh, Israel is in breach of, you know, this particular thing, that particular thing?" Well, the Palestinians themselves also signed on some agreements, which they haven't kept as well and it's worth pointing these things out. We want to give our people enough background information that they'll feel confident in themselves, that they're getting good information that they can use. And more importantly, they understand what is going on here, because this is a very, very complex situation we're dealing with, and unfortunately, the other side has become very binary, black and white and it's zero sum. Unfortunately, we are fighting a almost zero sum game right now and as one thing I will never forgive our enemies for doing because, you know, we're we're Jews, we like to argue amongst ourselves. You know, to Jews, three opinions and if we were to sit down and have a civil conversation with someone who was genuinely interested, they may not be pro Israel, they may be anti Israel, they may have certain concerns about what's going on here. But if we could sit down and have an actual civilized conversation.... I think our story is very, very compelling and you'd probably be able to convince them, but we've now reached a point where it's a shouting match. And clearly, we're not going to convince the people who are doing the shouting on one side, but unfortunately, between all the shouting the what you thought of as the 20% I think is perhaps higher than that. These people, all they're hearing is a lot of background noise, a lot of or a lot of screaming, shouting, and they're they're not getting the information and it's a real shame.

Katz 14:54

I would say that, like in America, for example, the political scene is like 40% Our Democrats, 40% are Republicans and it's the 20% in between (ballpark figures but) 20% in between that swing the elections, right? Let's take that concept and bring it over to Israel advocacy. You guys aren't Israel advocates, you're more headline advocates or truth advocates. But in that in that light, there seems to be a whole lot more anti Semites out there than then not. In other words, the number is not 40, 40 and 20. The number is probably closer to 90 and 10. That Well, 90% of the world's population, which is consuming or even the English speaking world's population that are consuming content about Israel are probably 90%, anti semitic. I mean,

Plosker 15:46

I'm not gonna go there.

Katz 15:50

... but it's certainly not 40% that are not anti-Semites right?

Plosker 15:53

I don't think that that the majority of people are anti Semites. I think a lot of people are very, very ignorant of the facts. Of course, there are anti Semites out there and I think it's one of the saddest things about my job that over the years, I've seen the actual bonafide anti semitism increase. One thing I will say is that to pan the entire media as anti semitic is very unsophisticated.

Katz 16:23

Has it increased, or has it always been there, and now it's just surfacing? And I think when I say 90% or 80%, whatever it is, ...I grew up in, in a city that was you know, mixed Jews, Gentiles and I found some of my closest friends that would slip up and say an anti semitic statement, it sounds hard to believe people I was literally in diapers with, and so this deep, this very deep, deep rooted anti semitism that's really buried not just beneath the surface publicly, but also within people and their stereotypes that are not being addressed by the media not being addressed by the Jewish media, even. You know, stereotypes that need to be potentially addressed and at least acknowledged. You know, the number of people in Jewish people in Hollywood or the number of Jewish people in banking. I'm not making generalizations that they run the world or anything like that. But But there seems to be, you know, Dave Chappelle makes a joke on Saturday Night Live. Whatever you do don't say the Jew word. And so, does that alienate? Joe Rogan recently said something that went viral? Are we alienating people who were allies are our allies, to Jews and to Israel? And then suddenly, we alienate them because they slipped up, like my good friends that I was in diapers with? What are your thoughts on it?

Plosker 17:41

I think we have to distinguish between with intent. There are some particularly nasty people out there. On the far left on the far right, I mean, it's easy when you're dealing with the far right, you can see, you know, these are the Nazi jackboot type people, it's kind of obvious. On the left wing, again, they they hide it a bit better. Or maybe they don't hide it, but to the average person who thinks an anti Semite is only your everyday Nazi. This isn't the case anymore. I'm a great subscriber to the the horseshoe theory where you have far left and far right sort of meat in the middle and they both have the same issues with Jews. But we have to distinguish about intent, because there are people who genuinely hate Jews out there. I've seen them, we see them online, you can see some of the disgusting stuff that's been put out on Twitter. Some of the responses, we get to our content as well. If I put out a tweets, you know, you'll get a whole load of people commenting underneath. And someone like, for example, you mentioned Joe Rogan. Do I think the Joe Rogan is an anti Semite? No, I don't think he's an anti Semite. I think he is ignorant. I think he is basically a victim of a wider culture that has absorbed anti semitic tropes and unfortunately, we're now in a process of trying to reverse this sort of thing or at least educate people as to why this could this is seen as an anti semitic trope, because a lot of these people would be quite horrified if they actually thought that they were being anti semitic. There are some people would wear on their sleeve.

Katz 19:28

As a people, I think it's safe to say we have PTSD. It was a tough 20th century, right? Sometimes when I see the headlines, I wonder, are we being hypersensitive? Like Dave Chappelle... I hate to say this, I will say publicly, I laughed at a lot of his jokes. It was pretty funny and I thought it was very tactful he's a very interesting way that he delivers things, very bright the way he delivers very difficult messages. But he got beat up by the mob, by the Jewish mob online. And so, it's an interesting topic also, maybe we can go there if you're comfortable talking about this. How far is too far? And do we have to choose our battles? Especially, given the fact that the Titans are obviously not so careful with false headlines but there's so many other smaller YouTubers that are much greater than the Titans that we're referring to CNN, NBC, ABC, FOX News.

Plosker 20:29

Look, we're dealing with dealing with all them but I think the bottom line in all this is you only have to look at the situation right now in terms of anti the anti semitism statistics on the street, Jews are being beaten up in, in places like Brooklyn, in New York, Los Angeles, we've got anti semitic incidents happening in in London, name it.

Katz 20:50

You have to say "reported anti semitic incidents." Because when I was growing up, we just took it to the parking lot. We never called the FBI. We never called the police. If there was an anti semitism in school, someone's giving us a hard time. It just it went outside.

Plosker 21:03

We've probably moved on since then, I would hope and quite frankly, I think as Jews, we should expect a level of protection. And the fact is that anti semitism is clearly on the rise....

Katz 21:17

Is it on the rise of it or is it the reporting of it is on is much easier?

Plosker 21:23

I think it's both.

Katz 21:24

Now it gets into the question of of bias in terms of organizations that the ADL, for example, systemically the way their revenue process works. They make more money when there's more anti Semitism, because that pulls the strings and fear of the populace. So it's, they're, they're almost encouraged to show the uptick and anti semitism. Which means it's in their best interest to make sure everything gets reported. Which means we can't look at today's statistic and compare it to say, the year 2000, or the year 1980. Because back then, like back in 1960, for example, people were literally beat up and the cops look the other way. It wasn't it wasn't a there's no real data to compare the trends or is there?

Plosker 22:10

Look, I think there is there is certainly data. I mean, if we're going back to the beginning of the 2000s there's there's definitely data there. I'm not going to comment on what other organizations are doing. I think, for example, the ADL is doing, it's doing a great job reporting on the anti semitism. But ultimately, I can also say the same thing about media bias, you know, if, if all of a sudden piece broke out tomorrow, then I'd be out of a job. But you know, what I'd be happy to, I'd be happy to be out of a job. If it was that good, but I don't think I'm going to be, you know, my Parnassus is not going to disappear, just like that. Sadly. It's a difficult situation. I don't think that we should ignore what's going on. There's clearly something. Something is going on. We're seeing it and of course, statistically as well. And we've been told about stats every time you know, Israel sneezes, diaspora Jews get a cold, because we've seen spikes in anti semitism happen when there's a particular conflict, Israeli an IDF, military operation, for example. All of a sudden, it's not Israelis who are being attacked, its Jews.

Katz 23:26

Okay, so good. That's clear data. That's not a question of comparing it to 10 years ago, or 20 years ago, that's showing that there is a spike in reports today, based on what's happening in Israel and the false reporting, or even the true reporting that happens in Israel like we saw it, we saw in May 2021, when we saw the 1000s and 1000s of rockets coming out of Gaza at civilians in Israel. Very interesting point. Thanks for making that point. Let me ask you another question. Let's shift gears a little closer to home. I hate this to go to a controversial topic, but for example, Sheikh Jarrah, there were local newspapers that could have written a headline for TRT local newspapers that reported about Itamar Ben Gvir setting up his his shop, his office, in Sheikh Jarrah making no mention in the headline or anything about the fact that there was an attempted murder 48 hours before to a Jewish family living in Sheikh jeruk making no mention about the seven fire bombings against that person's car in the previous six months. Does honest reporting need to start looking inward and not just outward at all of the nations of the world so to speak, media companies out there, but also looking inward at what Israel media companies are reporting and if they're being honest?

Plosker 24:51

Okay, we don't as a rule generally cover the Israeli media, certainly the Hebrew media, Israel has got a very, very robust democracy free, no speech expression. And I would like to hope that Israelis here are sophisticated enough to actually critique their own media, which of course they are. And there's also the Israeli English language media as well, you've got, you know, Jpost, Times of Israel, Haaretz, etc, etc. Again, as a rule, we don't tend to critique them, what we might do is, there could be a situation where, for example, there has been in the past, Haaretz, one time, put out a piece by get on Levy, who I'm sure many, many of your viewers here are aware of. He is a very, very radical commentator in that newspaper and he made the claim that a new poll, quite a few years ago, now, a new poll of Israelis said that most of them actually supported apartheid. You know, and of course, you know, this is like, jaw dropping. And what was worse was, it got picked up by international press. So, I could have spent plenty of time going after the international press for this, but I have to go to the source. Haaretz was the source. I took one look at the the pole and could see that get on Loevy had twisted the entire thing. It was lies, essentially, and therefore forced Haaretz to correct and once Haaretz was corrected, then of course, you have the ammunition to be able to get all these international media outlets to correct as well, but genuinely your

Katz 26:32

That's not a fair fight, right? I mean, it's like, it's basically, internal Israeli media sets up a lie. Everyone picks up the story and then honest reporting comes in and starts...

Plosker 26:41

Look, to be fair.... it doesn't....

Katz 26:45

The damage is done once it once it's out of the gate, right?

Plosker 26:47

Right, for sure. But luckily it doesn't happen that often. I mean, granted, the the journalists here, a lot of them get their information from very critical places like Haaretz, for example. And there are other far more radical news outlets now, which are not mainstream, but have clearly influenced some of these, some of these journalists. We do try and keep an eye on them. But of course, that ultimately, if someone goes and starts watching Russia today or Iranian Press TV, clearly you know what you're getting. It's kind of obvious. The people who watch that watch that precisely because, I think, they want to get that sort of coverage. On the other hand, we have Al Jazeera in English, which is relied upon, sadly, by a number of mainstream media outlets who fail to mention that what they're quoting from Al Jazeera is coming directly from a media outlet that is sponsored by the Qatari Royal Family. And the Qataris remember are sponsoring various terrorist organizations around the Middle East, including, of course, here in Israel. That needs to be pointed out. This is not a a neutral, unbiased source. This is a station that clearly does not have Israel's best interests at heart, quite the opposite in fact.

Katz 28:11

Is it an issue of, of not putting enough content to provide those journalists in Washington or New York, or London or wherever enough of a balanced picture to write their story in a balanced way? In other words, right now, for example, in Gaza, there are reporters that they obviously have to toe the line, you know, if they want the story. We saw VICE News was in Iran, they got a really exclusive story in Iran and Iraq. But they openly admitted that they had to toe the line, they had to play the game with the Iranian regime. Do we need to do a better job putting out more balanced reporting for those journalists who aren't setting foot there? They're only going by with what they're seeing online, what they're seeing by on these marketplaces for cell phone footage, etc. What are your thoughts on that?

Plosker 29:11

Okay, I'm gonna, I'm gonna kind of flip this a little bit. I'm gonna get back to exactly what you said about sort of helping the journalists. I just want to point out though, as well that you've made the case about journalists in Gaza, for example, they're using a lot of Palestinian stringers. People who are supposedly helping these foreign journalists, or they're reporting from the scene themselves. And one thing we did over the last several months, we found that a lot of these Palestinian reporters, they are giving information to the journalists. They're giving stories to major media outlets who are publishing them and there's a clear bias there. We took a look at some of their social media feeds, some of their tweets going back a number of years. It was incredible what we found. We found people that were actually praising Adolf Hitler. It is absolutely mind boggling. We're not talking, you know, we're not talking...

Katz 30:24

Your saying feeds of the reporters reporting from Gaza

Plosker 30:26

The reporters. The Palestinian reporters themselves passing of reporters themselves were saying that we support Adolf Hitler, you know, if only they, you know, only he hadn' know... if only he finish the job... and very, very similar things. And this was quite shocking.

Katz 30:42

This was a few months ago you guys expose that, right?

Plosker 30:44

Yeah. We've expose quite I suppose several reporters,

Katz 30:48

But that part of the behind the scenes that aren't headlines.

Plosker 30:52

Right, we expose these things. But as soon as we confronted these media outlets who've been using them, this is this is a clear red line that has been crossed. Now, these people are, I may not be able to sort of change thier very, very screwed up minds. However, someone with those sorts of views should not be anywhere near being allowed to report on Israel, the Middle East conflict or Jews. Because clearly, you're not going to get a anything close to objective not, we're not close to objective, we're getting something that's clearly skewed, and skewed in a very, very hateful way. And, you know, we're holding these journalists accountable. Now, as it happens, places like CNN, BBC, New York Times actually fired some of these people. Now, we're not going out there looking to get people fired but some some of these things lines have been crossed and ultimately, it's up to the media outlet themselves, to take the appropriate action and we think in these particular cases, appropriate action has been taken. What was more, I think, disturbing as well was that following this, there was a letter sent an open letter from my 300 Palestinian journalists complaining that we heard initiated a smear campaign against them. Hello, a smear campaign? We didn't need to do a smear campaign, you know, these particular journalists publicly promoted anti semitic content and we're not talking, you know, "I don't like Israel." It was, "I support the genocide of Jews." It kind of speaks for itself and it's, it's actually quite remarkable that these people think that there's any excuse or any justification for this whatsoever. But I do want to return to your point about helping the journalists. There is there is an organization, it's a project of Honest Reporting, [its called] Media Central, and it works with the journalists. It's separate from Honest Reporting, in the sense that I don't have anything to do with what goes on on a day to day basis there. But they will actually organize field tours for the journalists, speakers from reputable places, bring in politicians, we can talk to people from both sides, and that includes taking them to meet Palestinians as well. Because ultimately, we have a very compelling story to tell and what we're not looking for people to love us. We're looking for people to report accurately and fairly about us. And therefore, give them both sides of the story, including ours.

Katz 33:36

It's brilliant, because the economics of media have changed online. And now you have with all the banner ads, Google really took a chunk out of everybody's revenues. And as a result of that, the salary that these journalists get is very difficult to really get out there and report a deep story. To get the truth takes a lot of time and because of the economics of journalism today, it's very difficult for them to do that. So that's brilliant, that you're actually making it easier.

Plosker 34:04

But it's not even it's not even that the you know, you talk about the economics of journalism these days... Over the years, we've seen lots of media outlets had dedicated reporters on the ground here have lost them.

Katz 34:18

What do you mean "lost them?"

Plosker 34:21

They no longer have anyone here they they don't have the the money for it and also the conflict itself is no longer center stage, if you will, in the world's attention. Obviously, today, we have a much bigger situation going in Ukraine and we've seen plenty of times where journalists here have actually sort of left on mass and gone off to Ukraine to report and then there's there's no one here or there. Or, certainly media outlets will send reporters here temporarily, which brings its own challenges because during times of crisis, we have what are called parachute journalists. Journalists who don't have a background here, not people who are center, spend four years and hopefully would think would get a greater knowledge of what's going on. But they come in for two weeks and they literally report on what they're seeing. They don't know the context properly. They don't know the history. They don't know the language. They're at the mercy of the Palestinian stringers who are doing their utmost to help them get the story from their perspective. So, today we have a situation where the journalists who are on the ground don't have the resources that they used to. Now,clearly there are bureaus here like the BBC, for example. Yes, they are well, well resourced. CNN, obviously, the New York Times has people out here. But there are large amounts of media outlets that are literally one person out here, who's looking for stories and if we don't help them, then they're gonna go looking to the other side to find those stories. They're gonna go looking for conflict stories and this country is far more than just about conflicts. You know, we have the incredible high tech going on here. We have the beautiful beaches. We have the water technology that we're exporting to the African continent. All these incredible things. You walk into an Israeli hospital, you see the medical advances, but not only that, you see, Jewish doctors and Arab doctors working together treating Jewish patients and arab patients. What is more powerful than these sorts of things to get rid of this disgusting and ugly, false apartheid analogy that's doing the rounds these days?

Katz 36:45

What's the name of this organization, this new development in Honest Reporting?

Plosker 36:49

This is not a new development. MediaCentral has been around been around for quite a few years now.

Katz 36:54

Like a team of four or five people where,

Plosker 36:55

Yeah, we have a it's a team that works with the journalists helps them to get the helps to get the story.

Katz 37:04

It's almost preemptive, we don't want to have to correct anyone so therefore, we're going to help them get the story, right the first time.

Plosker 37:11

So ultimately, as an organization as a whole, holistically, we're the organization is working before, during, and after the story. So, of course it brings its own challenges as well but one thing's for sure... this country is never short of a good story. So we're never going to run out of those, for better or for worse.

Katz 37:36

Simon, I really appreciate you making the time, sharing your insights and all the incredible work that you guys do. And the honest discussion is really important to us and our audience. We appreciate you making the time today and joining us here at the TRIBE Journal and the TRIBECast. We look forward to maybe getting together another time in the in the near future.

Plosker 37:58

Definitely. I look forward to it. It's been an absolute pleasure. Thank you.


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