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      Media Watchdog Launches ‘Inside Israel’ Program

      HonestReporting is to train more volunteers with Inside Israel program. A new office will make the work easier.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 6/1/2012, 2:58 PM

      The HonestReporting media watchdog group recently moved into its new headquarters, a state-of-the-art facility that coordinators say will make work much easier. At the same time, the organization has launched its 15th Inside Israel program.


      Twenty people, both Jewish and not, will take part in the nondenominational advocacy training program. They will meet policy makers and political leaders and visit the “hot spots” often featured in media reports on Israel.

      “We aim to expose curious and concerned global citizens to the real Israel and help them understand where and how Israelis really live, their common bonds with peace advocates and Israeli Arabs, and why media bias occurs," explained CEO Joe Hyams.

      The group size is kept intentionally small “to make sure that no question goes unanswered and that every participant receives the personal attention needed to understand these nuanced issues fully,” he added.

      Hyams welcomed the move to a new facilities as “the beginning of an exciting new era for HonestReporting.”

      HonestReporting’s goal is to ensure Israel gets fair treatment in the world media “according to the same standards applied to any other country.”

      Among its many activities, the group created a a short film on Arafat to fight the glorification taking place after his death: "Under Arafat's leadership, the PLO innovated hostage taking, airplane hijacking, school massacres, and suicide bombings. Arafat stole billions of international aid money designated for Palestinians, depositing it in secret bank accounts. Don't let the media spin him as a Hero, Champion, and Freedom Fighter."

      The group recently fought British media reports which claimed Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel. The British Press Complaints Commission has so far rejected the complaint, arguing that despite the fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital under Israeli law and is also the home of the seat of government, Jerusalem’s status “is not recognized by many countries" - making it legitimate to give Tel Aviv the title instead.