Dear MEAA, Antony Loewenstein Breaks Your Code Of Ethics
Following reports he may have to leave Israel following the Honest Reporting expose’ of his BDS activities, “journalist” Antony Loewenstein has proudly posted of the fact that the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) union, of which he is a member, has sent the following letter to the Israeli Ambassador in Australia, the Australian Ambassador in Israel, Dave Sharma, and the Israeli Government Press Office:
His Excellency Shmuel Ben‐Shmuel
Embassy of Israel in Australia
6 Turrana Street
Yarralumla ACT 2600
20 December 2016
Antony Loewenstein is a member of our union and a well known freelance journalist in Australia.
We write to seek your assistance in ensuring he continues to receive appropriate support and accreditation to continue his journalism while in Israel.
We have been concerned by recent reports suggesting the Government Press Office in Israel may be considering either withdrawing or not renewing his accreditation. As an issue of free speech, any assistance you could offer would be greatly appreciated.
Chief Executive Officer
MEAA has the following code of ethics.
MEAA members engaged in journalism commit themselves to:
Respect for the rights of others
Journalists will educate themselves about ethics and apply the following standards:
- Report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts. Do not suppress relevant available facts, or give distorting emphasis. Do your utmost to give a fair opportunity for reply.
- Do not place unnecessary emphasis on personal characteristics, including race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, sexual orientation, family relationships, religious belief, or physical or intellectual disability.
- Aim to attribute information to its source. Where a source seeks anonymity, do not agree without first considering the source’s motives and any alternative attributable source. Where confidences are accepted, respect them in all circumstances.
- Do not allow personal interest, or any belief, commitment, payment, gift or benefit, to undermine your accuracy, fairness or independence.
- Disclose conflicts of interest that affect, or could be seen to affect, the accuracy, fairness or independence of your journalism. Do not improperly use a journalistic position for personal gain.
- Do not allow advertising or other commercial considerations to undermine accuracy, fairness or independence.
- Do your utmost to ensure disclosure of any direct or indirect payment made for interviews, pictures, information or stories.
- Use fair, responsible and honest means to obtain material. Identify yourself and your employer before obtaining any interview for publication or broadcast. Never exploit a person’s vulnerability or ignorance of media practice.
- Present pictures and sound which are true and accurate. Any manipulation likely to mislead should be disclosed.
- Do not plagiarise.
- Respect private grief and personal privacy. Journalists have the right to resist compulsion to intrude.
- Do your utmost to achieve fair correction of errors.
Guidance Clause: Basic values often need interpretation and sometimes come into conflict. Ethical journalism requires conscientious decision-making in context. Only substantial advancement of the public interest or risk of substantial harm to people allows any standard to be overridden.
It is unclear to me how they Antony Loewenstein even qualifies for MEAA membership, given he contravenes some of these standards, let alone MEAA defending him!
“Report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts. Do not suppress relevant available facts, or give distorting emphasis.”
Any fair examination of Loewenstein’s “work” shows an almost pathological hatred of Israel. There is no evidence of any striving for accuracy or fairness in his “reporting.” As I have shown in previous posts, he is firmly anti-Israel, even to the point of comparing us unfavorably to terrorist organization Hamas
— Antony Loewenstein (@antloewenstein) November 22, 2012
and supporting BDS of Israel
“Do not place unnecessary emphasis on personal characteristics, including race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, sexual orientation, family relationships, religious belief, or physical or intellectual disability.”
Loewenstein is on record as using this antisemitic smear of Jewish comedian “Austen Tayshus”:
It also might help if Tayshus didn’t look so much like those awful caricatures we know from the 1930s!
There’s also this:
— Antony Loewenstein (@antloewenstein) October 10, 2014
“Jew York” is a common smear used by antisemites to reflect the city’s large Jewish population.
“Use fair, responsible and honest means to obtain material…Never exploit a person’s vulnerability or ignorance of media practice.”
As I posted earlier this year, Loewenstein attended the Ynet anti-BDS conference in Jerusalem, and then posted a hit job on anti-Israel site Mondoweiss. I suspect he may not have accurately represented who he was, although I do not have proof of this. At the very least, I am sure he did not disclose the fact he attended there solely to attack the conference.
I call on MEAA to conduct their own investigation into Loewenstein’s conduct and reevaluate his membership in your union and your defense of him.