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Readers Protest Times

News: Almost 1,000 in the Jewish community interrupt delivery, citing Mideast coverage.

April 18, 2002|ERIC MALNIC | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Nearly 1,000 Los Angeles Times subscribers have ordered suspension of home delivery for a day or more to protest what they call inaccurate, pro-Palestinian reporting of the unrest in the Middle East.

The protest reportedly was organized in the local Jewish community and was timed to correspond with Wednesday's 54th anniversary of Israeli independence.

Times officials said they could not provide precise figures on the number of delivery suspensions, but said the orders amount to less than one-tenth of 1% of the paper's total daily circulation of slightly more than 1 million.

They said the newspaper began receiving multiple calls about Middle East coverage Monday. About 900 calls were received Wednesday, but not all of them requested suspensions.

Dr. Joe Englanoff, a physician at UCLA Medical Center, said talk about staging the protest against The Times' Middle East coverage began circulating through Southern California's Jewish community several weeks ago.

"Thousands have been contacted, mostly by e-mail," he said. "There's a feeling in the community that The Times clearly has been one-sided and biased in its reporting about the Middle East. People in the Jewish community want to express their anger."

Times Editor John Carroll noted that the newspaper has a large staff of reporters and photographers chronicling the Middle East conflict.

"Our goal is to provide coverage that is both fair and complete," he said. "We feel that we serve our readership by covering all aspects and points of view.

"Some readers may take exception to specific articles, but I am confident that, over time, careful readers of this newspaper will get a full, balanced account of these unsettling events," Carroll said.

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