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November 08, 1985 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-11-08

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24

Friday, November 8, 1985

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

TEMPLE ISRAEL SISTERHOOD
1st ANNUAL CHANUKAH BAZAAR

MEDIA MONITOR

Monday, Nov. 18, 1985
- Temple Israel
* Luncheon - 12:00 P.M.
* Booths.Open at 10:00 A.M.
* Guest Speaker: Celebrity/Journalist

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COLONY
INTERIORS

LINDA SOLOMON

Sugar Tree
Plaza

"Focus on the Famous"

`Free Press'

Continued from Page 1

1 at Maple & Orchard Lk. Rd.

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Free Press Publisher David Lawrence Jr.

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Lawrence believes it is the job
of an editor or publisher "to be
under siege a good part of the
time. It is the nature of the
Middle East to have an extraor-
dinary amount of passion about
it. I'll get a call in the morning
saying, 'You're anti-Israel.' Then
I'll get a call in the afternoon
saying, 'You're anti-Arab.'
"At the time of the Lebanon
War there was more angst. But
there was never a sizable
number of cancellations (in the
wake of coverage of the war and
Stephen Franklin's 1982 series
on the Palestinians). My job is
to explain ourselves the best I
could," Lawrence said, and to
listen the best I could. People
(who call him to complain) find
that we have a great deal more
in common than they thought
when going in."
Lawrence agrees that readers
can argue about the Free Press'
focus on Israel in recent years
and not on other countries, such
as Syria. "That is the burden of
a democratic society. We can re-
port on Israel but not on Syria."
Asked if that kind of focus can
skew coverage or skew readers'
views of Israel, Lawrence re-
sponded bluntly, "Yes. But it is
our job to be aware that it can
skew."
The Free Press has three
foreign bureaus — Toronto,
Vienna and Zimbabwe — and in
considering the demographics of
Detroit," Lawrence said, "these
all make sense." As for the em-
phasis on major series about Is-

rael and the Middle East, "We
all have a sizable investment in
the peace of the world. There
are substantive Arab and
Jewish populations in Detroit."
Both populations are sensitive
to the Free Press coverage of
Middle East issues. In 1982, as
Stephen Franklin's series on the
Palestinians was ending, the
Sabra and Shatila massacres in
Beirut were taking place.
"There was a great deal of
angst and anguish in the Jewish
community generally," Lawr-
ence recalled. "There was a
whole bunch of nervous and
concerned people." He said
people were concerned by Is-
rael's invasion of Lebanon sev-
eral months before — "the effi-
cacy, the morality, the wisdom
of the invasion" — and the te-
nure of Menachem Begin as Is-
rael's prime minister.
The series on the Palestinians
upset many in the Jewish com-
munity and within a week of its
conclusion Lawrence met with
11 communal leaders, including
Philip Slomovitz, now Jewish
News editor emeritus. "That was
at the height of people's con-
cern," Lawrence said. "There
have been other meetings."
One Jewish leader who re-
mains highly critical of the Free
Press is Dr. Sheila Lampert,
who was president of the Detroit
Zionist Federation in 1982 and
who currently serves as Zionist
affairs chairman for Hadassah.
She met with Lawrence twice,

Continued on Page 26

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