On April 24, HonestReporting Canada brought our concerns to the attention of several CBC editors regarding a CBC Fredericton report by journalist Melissa Oakley on the “Child’s View from Gaza “ exhibit being curated at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre.
Oakley’s two-minute report which aired on April 23 was described by the CBC as follows (emphasis added): “A Fredericton art gallery has put a planned display of art created by Palestinian children in Gaza on hold after complaints.” To watch this report online please click here or on image below:
We had the following problems with this CBC report and an online article CBC published to its website:
- CBC claimed outright that the artwork was “created by Palestinian children in Gaza” and was “drawn by children in Gaza” however this is a matter of dispute as experts claim the artwork was drawn by trained adult artists trying to mimic a child’s style for exploitive political purposes. As such, we conveyed that their reporter should have referred to the art as “allegedly” being created by children or at least acknowledged that the authenticity of this artwork is under criticism for being fraudulent. In an op-ed published in the Daily Gleaner today, May 2, HonestReporting Canada and University of New Brunswick Professor David Murrell expounded on the “Fake Gaza ‘art’ here in Fredericton”. Our commentary can be found appended below.
- This report quotes Thomas Woodley of the anti-Israel group CJPME, but it does not give voice to the pro-Israel community who have concerns about the exhibit. We pointed out that this report succumbed due to a lack of a balanced perspective on this controversial issue and we requested that CBC conduct a follow up report to feature such duelling perspectives.
- CBC reporter Oakley stated: “The artwork depicts what the children remember about Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, the 2-month-long military assault that killed 1,400 Palestinians including 300 children.” But she failed to provide context that this operation was implemented to thwart the thousands of rockets fired at Israeli communities. All CBC had to say to procure context was to acknowledge that Israel says its military efforts were implemented to thwart Palestinian rocket fire.
Other news outlets like Global News and the Daily Gleaner (article not online) provided a balanced perspective to the issue that acknowledged criticism that the exhibit was “propaganda” and “inauthentic” and that gave voice to concerns of the pro-Israel community.
Following our complaint, CBC Maritimes broadcast a follow up report by Melissa Oakley on April 25 which featured a contrarian point of view by pro-Israel support Israel Unger who criticized the exhibit for featuring fraudulent artwork and for the lack of balance of the exhibit; one that did not acknowledge the suffering of Israelis from thousands of rocket attacks. This report can be viewed online by clicking here or on the image below:
Regrettably, this follow up report again failed to provide viewers with context about the rational for Israel’s Operation Cast Lead. Viewers were again deprived of knowing that this military effort was designed to stop relentless rocket terror on Israeli cities. As of this writing, CBC.ca has not amended its online news article. As a result of the CBC’s shortcomings in these reports, its readers and viewers were deprived of learning about legitimate criticism of this exhibit and vital context about Israel’s military efforts to stop Palestinian terror.