Ombudsmen respond to complaints of biased coverage of Gaza conflict

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Pubcasting ombudsmen Alicia Shepard of NPR and Michael Getler of PBS have received hundreds of complaints about biased coverage of the Israeli incursion into Gaza, and their latest columns analyze to what extent the criticisms are justified. Some listeners say public radio coverage is so biased that NPR is actually “National Palestinian Radio,” Shepard writes, but the biggest issue appears to be a lack of historical or political context in NPR’s reporting. “Context is critical but there are certain time constraints that simply won’t allow the kind of detail some listeners want in every four-minute piece,” she writes. At PBS, Getler agrees with viewers that a Bill Moyers commentary on the Israeli-Hamas conflict was “not only inflammatory but wrong.” The commentary, which aired Jan. 9, also prompted this rebuke from Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League.