OPINION

A plea for journalistic integrity and an end to propaganda

Talk about shock and awe! Your editorial (March 31) claims «thousands of innocent people are being killed» by bombings in Iraq. Again, I find myself writing a plea for journalistic integrity. The best source of data I know of on the death toll in Iraq (from all causes) is the www.iraqbodycount.net website. Their estimate of the number of civilian dead in Iraq, which they base on corroborated news stories and eyewitness accounts, currently stands at between 443 and 541. What was your source for «thousands»? And why didn’t you cite it? And don’t try to claim that «are being» implies all those who might be killed in the future (unless you also want to talk about all those killed by Saddam in the past). There is nothing wrong with arguing that the international community has a responsibility to limit loss of innocent life as you do in your editorial, however, when you premise this argument on incredible (and unsubstantiated) claims, you turn a journalistic effort to engage the public in meaningful dialogue about an important subject into propaganda. My plea: Stop it. D.A. STONE, Thessaloniki.