A well-organized e-mail campaign has targeted Ruth Eglash in the past few days, a Washington Post correspondent in Jerusalem. None of the complaints address anything she has written for The Post. Instead they attack what they see as a conflict of interest because her husband’s activities.
Eglash works for The Post’s Jerusalem bureau on a full-time contract basis. She is not a Post staff member. Her husband, Michael Eglash, is listed on the Web site upstartactivist.com as one of its co-founders. The site says on its home page that it “educates about Israel. We develop and deliver unique media-rich presentations, effective leadership training seminars and creative educational resources that draw upon deep knowledge of Israel and decades of proven activist experience in N. America.”
The conflict question was raised by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), which describes itself as a “national media watch group [that] has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986.” FAIR says, “The Washington Post may be violating its own conflict of interest rules by hiring a Jerusalem correspondent whose spouse works for an Israeli government-linked public relations firm.”
Douglas Jehl, The Post’s Foreign Editor, responded: “Ruth Eglash is a professional journalist with experience at other publications, including the Jerusalem Post, and we have seen no reason for concern about her work. The Post is committed to its stringent policy on avoiding conflict of interest, which covers our entire news organization, including foreign bureaus and contract employees who work for the foreign staff. We have thoroughly examined the specific questions raised by readers about potential conflicts involving the business activities of Ms. Eglash’s husband. After a detailed review of those activities, we have not found facts that constitute an actual conflict.”