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Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Letter to the Editor: Former UP editor accuses UP of bias, unethical coverage


Editor’s Note: This letter has been edited for length and clarity.

Like all of the sources in the UP’s recent article about a soccer player, I’m Jewish. 

And like the article’s subject, I’m also Israeli, have a lot of family in Israel, and have watched many of them get called up for service in the IDF. In fact, I grew up in Zikhron Yaakov, about 30 minutes down the coast from Haifa, where Fadida grew up. And as a former UP EIC, I wanted to highlight some substantial issues in the article.

In general, I think this sort of profile makes sense—you found a local angle on a global issue and went for it. The photo of the player blanketing the Israeli flag made for a strong visual, too. Good get, overall.

What’s missing in the piece, however, is fact checking, reporting, and the Palestinian voice. At least one source who isn’t blatantly biased might have helped balance your coverage. Lacking that, you ran something one-sided, heavily biased, and veering on the propagandic given the complete lack of Palestinian or Arabic sources. 

But before getting into the article itself, it should be noted that my critique is also of the UP at large since, as far as I can tell, this is pretty much the only coverage of the conflict it’s published. 

Now back to the article. 

Big picture: You make a promise in the dek that you never deliver: “…sheds light on how the Israel-Hamas war is impacting him at FAU.”  You never report on or describe that impact at FAU, but rather let three highly biased sources define it (loosely, anyway).

  1. Fadida himself is obviously biased (which is actually fine in a vacuum, given the angle)
  2. Kolett/Hillel is demonstrably biased (also fine in a vacuum if presented as such)
  3. And Dalin, who is seemingly unqualified to comment on this situation and who is definitely biased—if Sanua is qualified, you don’t tell us why or how

To help back up my complaint, here are some passages and the questions they raise:

Fadida says soccer is his “safe place”

  • Did he feel unsafe on campus since Oct. 7? 
  • Why? Where?

Kolett says: “…students on campus found themselves assailed by hostile voices decrying Israel’s effort to respond to this horrifying terrorism…” 

  • Who assailed whom? When?
  • Was it hostile, and how so? 
  • Was the decrying public? Where? When? By whom?

Dalin is described as an “expert in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.” 

  • Among her deep and many Jewish-first accolades, I saw very little mention of Israel or of Hamas or of the conflict. The last decade or so of her work seems to focus on Jewish fraternities, not war and occupation in the Middle East. 
  • What exactly makes her an expert on this? 

Dalin “feels Israel’s reaction towards Hamas is justified, and that Israel is protecting itself from possible genocide.” 

  • Why does she feel that it’s justified? And why does she feel Israel is protecting itself from possible genocide?  What does justified even mean in this context? What does genocide mean? 
  • I’m especially concerned about these passages and the complete lack of reporting around them. Normally, these subjects would be relatively easy to research, but right now they’re headlining virtually every publisher on the planet. Why didn’t you tap into that? For example, about a week before this article ran, some UN experts warned that Israel’s reaction could become a Palestinian genocide. 

Dalin says: “The rest of the world, what they do is they see the bombing of Gaza and they see Palestinian civilians being killed, and they say, ‘No, cease fire immediately.’ But if there’s a cease fire immediately, that means Hamas has won. And Hamas has promised it’s going to keep doing October 7 over and over and over and over again.” 

  • Most pro-Palestinian criticism of Israel is specifically based on the status quo before Oct. 7, diametrically opposed to how Dalin sells it. Journalistically speaking, it’s so dangerous to let Dalin define the argument of people she disagrees with. 
  • And she might believe that Hamas wins if there’s a ceasefire, but is that a fact? Are there people who believe otherwise? What has Hamas actually said about “Oct. 7”?

Fadida “disagrees with students’ actions in recent weeks in support of Palestine, which he views as tacit support of Hamas.” 

  • What actions? Which students? 
  • Did you interview them? Was their behavior supportive of Hamas? How? 
  • Fadida’s final quotes in the piece are likewise pointless since you didn’t provide any reporting on them, leaving intact his claim that all pro-Palestinian dissent supports terrorism. 

Throughout the entire article, you let these three sources describe the entire conflict, both overseas and locally on campus, without any effort to check their claims, report beyond them, or tell the larger story. 

Especially right now and especially in this field, it’s very important to contextualize the stories we tell, confirm all information from all sources, and avoid silencing or disparaging any one group in any narrative, no matter your emotions toward them or how other they might be to you.

Gideon Grudo, former UP EIC (2011)

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