Home Media Action Alerts2014 HRC Responds to Misleading CTV National News Report About Israel-Hamas Ceasefire

HRC Responds to Misleading CTV National News Report About Israel-Hamas Ceasefire

by Mike Fegelman

HRC recently brought our concerns to CTV National News’ attention regarding an August 13 segment it aired which saw veteran anchor Kevin Newman state the following: “Overseas tonight, Israel and Hamas extended a ceasefire in Gaza for another five days. The agreement got off to a rocky start, though, with both sides briefly exchanging fire around the time it came into force. The extra days may give both sides more time to find a longer-term solution.”

To watch this segment please click here or on the image below.

Contrary to what CTV reported, the Israeli military said Gaza militants breached the truce and fired eight rockets at Israel and that in response, aircraft targeted multiple “rocket launchers and terror sites” across the enclave.

In fact, CTV Anchor Jacqueline Milczarek stated the following on CTV News Channel at 9:18am on August 14: “A five-day extension of a ceasefire in Gaza appears to be holding. The last-minute deal was hammered out in Cairo where diplomats for both sides have been locked in negotiation but just before the announcement. Hamas fired eight rockets at Israel, prompting air strikes on Hamas targets. the extended truce is aimed at giving both sides more time to find a more lasting deal to end the crisis.”

CTV National’s reporting failed to point out who initiated violent hostilities prior to the ceasefire’s expiration. Hamas did, with eight rockets and Israel responded in self-defence. CTV viewers were unable to make this distinction, and may have come to the conclusion that Israel started the violence with live fire, unprovoked.

We asked CTV to address this issue and on August 15 we received the following reply from CTV President Wendy Freeman addressed to HRC Executive Director Mike Fegelman:

Dear Mr. Fegelman

Thank you for your email…the segment you are referring to was approximately 16 seconds long and was a quick update on the ceasefire.   As a result it did not contain detailed information about what transpired.  However, as you note, greater detail was provided on CTV News Channel.

Sincerely,

Wendy Freeman

President-CTV News

HRC recognizes that CTV aired a short segment, but brevity is no excuse for producing misleading reporting. As well, CTV News Channel’s subsequent coverage does not in any way mitigate the National’s failure to properly contextualize what transpired prior to the ceasefire’s expiration (now extended).

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