Friday, August 5, 2011

Saying Good Bye

This is harder than I ever imagined to say but I want to let all my readers know that this is my last blog as The Oakland Press Opinion Page editor.

I was told that it was a corporate decision to eliminate Opinion Page editors in Michigan and Ohio.

I want to thank all of you for following me. Please look for my personal blog that I will establish in September.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Editorial ideas come from many sources

Normally, editorials are written based on news stories that have been published a day or two or earlier than the Opinion Page piece.

But sometimes we push the envelope on this policy and actually write an editorial based on a direct interview or discussion with a source.

Such was the case, as I’ve highlighted last week, with Israeli Reporter David Bedein.

Occasionally, visitors will come in with news – and supporting documentation – that just screams for an editorial, even if we passed on writing a news story about it.

In addition to Bedein, we’ve done editorials based on visits with such social agencies as the Salvation Army, Common Ground and governmental groups.

The first editorial we ever did supporting a new international bridge between the metro area and Canada came after a visit with representatives of several groups and government agencies that were promoting its construction.

And while we’re on the subject of pushing the editorial envelopes, throughout the year we also write about the major Christian, Jewish and Muslim holidays.

They may not be earth-shaking or eye-opening but they do tend to remind people of why they are getting those holidays off or why their neighbors may not be going to work on a particular day.

The Oakland Press also prides itself on doing upbeat editorials that, if nothing else, just gives credit where credit is due. Those pieces don’t necessarily have to be critical of a person or a group.

So, you see, editorials can come in all shapes and sizes and view points but one thing is constant, they have to be based on good, solid information.

As the old journalistic axiom goes, “we’re only as good as our sources.”

posted by Allan Adler at 8:34 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Israeli reporter was an excellent editorial source

One of the most solid news sources The Oakland Press has been fortunate enough to have worked with is Israeli investigative journalist David Bedein, who we discussed Monday.

For this past Sunday’s editorial on the Palestinian Refugee camps, Bedein sat down with The Oakland Press Editorial Board and literally spread out on a table his information on the camps and the Hamas ties to them.

Some Hamas documents blatantly admitted the terrorist group’s ties to the camps, officially run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Bedein didn’t just throw out theories and speculation, he had hard documents to back up every statement and allegation. He also had maps that supported his view that the refugees were being told that they would eventually be moved back to their ancestral homes in Israel. Many of those homes no longer exist and to resettle in Israel would literally mean killing Jews, but that doesn’t seem to be much of a qualm for Hamas.

The journalist even had current Palestinian road maps that accurately showed the highways throughout the area.But one thing missing – the designation of Israel as a nation.

And the money for all of this activity comes in large part, from the United States.

You may not like what Bedein revealed but there is no way you could argue with his facts.

That’s why we wrote the editorial.

posted by Allan Adler at 9:34 AM 0 Comments

Monday, July 25, 2011

Good sources are key to accurate editorials

Just like good news stories, accurately written editorials also require good sources.

Israeli investigative journalist David Bedein is an example of one of those sources. He was used in writing yesterday’s (Sunday, July 24) editorial on Palestinian refugee camps and the possible influence that the terrorist group Hamas has on them.

You could say he is prejudiced because he is from Israel but he also keeps a close eye on the Israeli government and is the essence of what a true, ethical journalist should be.

Just look at some of his credentials.

Bedein is a community organizer by profession, a writer, and an investigative journalist. In 1987 he established the Israel Resource News Agency, with offices at the Beit Agron International Press Center in Jerusalem. He serves as director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.

He has also reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Jerusalem Post, and the Jewish World Review. For four years, Bedein was the Middle East correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010.

Bedein has covered controversial Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna.

Also, he was active in the Israeli peace movement for 17 years and has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, the New Israel Fund, and United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Say what you will, you can’t argue with his accomplishments.