"Please include a quote from a pro-Palestine voice to make your article balanced. CJPME would be glad to recommend someone from Toronto."
January 15, 2024
John Marchesan, CityNews Toronto
Jonathan Whitten, CityNews Toronto
Dear John Marchesan and Jonathan Whitten,
I’m writing to express concern about a recent article, “3 arrests made at Avenue Road bridge demonstrations,” published January 13, 2024.
It is disappointing that the context of these protests was left out. For example, you write:
Demkiw said the demonstrations, which are taking part in a neighbourhood with a large Jewish population, have left community members in the area feeling intimidated by those who have targeted the bridge since Israel responded to the deadly Hamas attack last October.
Important context is omitted in two ways.
- The demonstrations are said to be taking place in “a neighbourhood with a large Jewish population.” However, the organizers of the event made clear in a statement that the location was chosen due to its high visibility and was part of a larger strategy in Ontario centred on “sidewalk protests.” Beyond that, the organizers also make clear that the organizers are from the neighborhood, and many of them are Jewish. You can read there statement here. They argue they should be able to protest in their own neighborhood without claims accusing them of targeting a “Jewish neighborhood.”
I insist that you make reference to the statement from organizers to make your article fairer.
- Your framing whitewashes Israel’s attacks on Palestinians in Gaza. Demonstrators are protesting against Israel’s genocide of Palestinians. Rather than state this clearly, you only note the events of October 7 and that Israel “responded,” as if their attacks are in the past. The framing is not only false, it omits critical information from your readers.
I insist that you add more context around Israel’s attacks on Gaza and correct your article to make clear that Israel’s attacks are ongoing.
Next, your article silences the very people it is centred on: pro-Palestine demonstrators. You quote a member of CIJA and a legal expert, but there is no pro-Palestine voice.
Please include a quote from a pro-Palestine voice to make your article balanced. CJPME would be glad to recommend someone from Toronto.
Director of Media Advocacy, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East