The evidence shows that many journalists simply reprint NGO reports without question or verification.  This is known as the “halo effect”, and violates both journalistic ethics, which require skepticism and independent verification, and the norm when reporting from other sources, including government officials.  But when a “highly respected human rights watchdog” such as Amnesty International or HRW makes a statement, journalists tend to ignore the bias and repeat this as fact. A recent Harvard study of reporting on the 2006 Lebanon War shows that most of the media around the world continued to cite HRW’s claims on the Qana incident, even after HRW was forced to admit their errors. And there are many other examples, not only with respect to Israel, but in Colombia, Iraq, and wherever NGOs rely on “eyewitnesses” and lack independent capabilities. Similarly, the illusion of NGO “balance” and political neutrality continues among journalists – in July 2007, a reporter wrote “During the [2006] war, Human Rights Watch issued several reports criticizing both sides.” A simple review of these reports demonstrates the one-sided condemnations of Israel. However, serious journalists are starting to look beyond the “halo effect”, as in the case Jackson Diehl at the Washington Post, who exposed HRW’s biases, and in the Economist, which took on Amnesty.