"Relegating voices that are critical of Israel or sympathetic to Palestinians to disadvantageous locations in an article– or outright excluding them– further marginalizes Palestinian narratives and upholds the status quo of oppression."
February 6, 2024
Gary Dimmock, Reporter, Ottawa Citizen
Nicole Feriancek, Editor-In-Chief, Ottawa Citizen
Dear Mr. Dimmock,
I am writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East to express some of my concerns relating to an article titled “Ottawa vigil for Israel and rally for Palestinians end peacefully,” published on February 4 by Ottawa Citizen.
The first eight paragraphs of this article describe the vigil for hostages held by Hamas and the motivations for attendees in great detail. It is only after these paragraphs that you mention Hamas’ initial attack on Oct. 7 and Israel’s subsequent air and ground campaign in Gaza. The two remaining paragraphs of your article vaguely describe the rally organized in solidarity with Palestine. By consistently placing comments from one group above those from another, you suggest a hierarchy of perspectives to your readers. I ask that you move your paragraph providing critical context about Oct. 7 and Israel’s subsequent military campaign to the beginning of the article and bring information regarding the pro-Palestine rally to areas of the article that garner increased read exposure.
Another element of your article I took issue with is the lack of pro-Palestine perspectives. While you included Lisa Levitan’s testimony outlining her support for Israel, the article omits any personal account of an attendee of the pro-Palestine rally held in Ottawa. Relegating voices that are critical of Israel or sympathetic to Palestinians to disadvantageous locations in an article– or outright excluding them– further marginalizes Palestinian narratives and upholds the status quo of oppression. Please include pro-Palestinian perspectives to make your article more balanced and uphold the basic journalistic principle of representing all sides of a story.
Thank you for making these edits promptly.
Media Analyst, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East