MARTIN SETS OUT HIS REPORTING PHILOSOPHY
In a confrontation with a radical website, Paul Martin contrasted his 35 years of reporting on zones of conflict and other major stories for the most respected media worldwide, with the efforts of this radical group to denigrate.
PM: No, I’m not willing to be attacked by you on the basis of all your false claims. So, what I’m saying to you is this: why don’t you look at my track record? For thirty-five years, I’ve made films. If you wanted to, you could make a list of films I’ve made which are very pro one side or the other – if you look at it from a propaganda point of view. The fact is, they’re all done accurately, and if the Palestinians do things which are wrong to their own people – I’m talking about the authorities – I will criticise that. If the Israelis do things, I will criticise that. And I have been, and I have done, and I’ve been criticised by all sides. Therefore, I think that my track record over thirty-five years of reporting, all round the world, would compare and contrast very well with your reporting for the Electronic Intifada. Secondly, why does the Electronic Intifada attack every single Western news organisation? Yesterday, it was the Guardian you were attacking, then you had the New York Times you were attacking, then there was the AP, Associated Press in Gaza, that you were attacking; it was AFP. These are all stuff in the last few weeks that the Electronic Intifada has been attacking,. And the BBC, of course. And so, all you’re doing is you’re looking for ways of saying: well, Western media is against us. Don’t know who “us” is exactly, but it seems to me that you’ve taken up the cudgels on behalf of one particular cause – and I think that it’s perfectly ok to take up the cudgels on one particular cause. But just argue the case. Argue the case for your particular view of a one-state solution, or whatever it is. Admit what you are: a bunch of propagandists. And don’t attack the other media, who are trying to be decent and fair, and will naturally sometimes write stories that are in favour of one side, and sometimes it’s the other, as long as they’re accurate. I’m a journalist, and you’re a propagandist. Thank you very much.