Thursday, January 29, 2009

Haaretz: Linguistic Balance and Symmetry


An IDF jeep that was damaged in a bomb attack Tues. near the Gaza border in which a soldier was killed and three others were wounded.
(Reuters)

Here is how the Israeli source, Haaretz, reported this same event presented by the NYT article of the IDF soldier killed in action:

IAF strikes Gaza after IDF soldier killed near border

“The incident near the border was the first deadly attack carried out by Palestinian militants since a cease-fire went into effect in the coastal strip 10 days ago.”

“The soldier, who served as an NCO in the army, was killed when a roadside bomb exploded near an Israel Defense Forces patrol along the Gaza border, near the Kissufim crossing.”

And here is how the same Israeli source reported the Palestinian killed during the Israeli military response to the Palestinian attack:

“A Palestinian was reportedly killed in ensuing clashes between IDF soldiers and Gaza militants in the area. Heavy gunfire was audible along the border in central Gaza and Israeli helicopters hovered in the air, firing bursts from their machine guns, Palestinian witnesses said.”

There is much more balance and symmetry in the use of verbs and no use of passive voice ambiguity to spin reader perceptions, ever so subtly, as in the NYT piece describing the same event.

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