BROOKE GLADSTONE: We're back with On the Media. I'm Brooke Gladstone.
BOB GARFIELD: And I'm Bob Garfield with some of your letters. About a month ago, we asked listeners to write in with their suggestions on how coverage of the Middle East could be improved. All the responses we received accused NPR of bias against Israel, many expressing their objections in much the same wording. Here's a sampling.
BROOKE GLADSTONE:In response to our question about what is missing from the coverage, Daniel Stern wrote: "You would be wise to offer historical background to the situation so that events do not exit in a temporal vacuum. The great majority of listeners have absolutely no idea what went on in the previous five decades and certainly not before that, and yet this is utterly critical to the situation at hand."
BOB GARFIELD:Many objected to NPR's reluctance to use the word "terrorist" to describe suicide bombings. "Call a spade a spade," writes Martin A. Welt. "A targeted killing of a murderer allied with terrorist groups is an act of self defense aimed at protecting a civilian population. NPR consistently equates a homicide bombing of innocent civilians with an Israeli reprisal against terrorist targets."
BROOKE GLADSTONE:Percy Dreift says NPR should name the victims of terror attacks, quote, "This lack of names de-personalizes the tragedy. The problem is often compounded by publicizing the name of the terrorist and then interviewing his or her family as they mourn their loss and simultaneously receive congratulations for the horrific act of their relative. A powerful weapon to counter the banality of this evil is to place a name and a face on the victim."
BOB GARFIELD:Thanks for your letters. Keep sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name. [MUSIC]