Crikey‘s report last week on a controversial opinion article on asylum seekers by the owner/publisher of The Australian Jewish News, Robert Magid, caused a stir, with The Age and the ABC’s Lateline joining the fray with follow-ups.

In the op-ed, for those who missed it, Magid called for Jews to be less compassionate towards asylum seekers arriving by boat and conflated the issues of Muslim immigration and terrorism. Some in the Jewish community reckoned this “hate speech” and demanded the paper apologise. In last Friday’s edition, however, AJN editor Zeddy Lawrence stood by his man:

“The simple fact is Australian society as a whole has a diverse range of opinions on the issue of refugees, and as a microcosm of that society, Australian Jewry also has a diverse range of opinions.

“As a newspaper, we endeavour to represent as broad a cross-section of our community as possible. We give space to our readers, we give space to our rabbis … and yes, very occasionally, we give space to our publisher, for he is no less entitled to hold his views as anyone else is to hold theirs.

“As a newspaper, we don’t legislate on who should believe what or whether one person’s point of view is more legitimate or more valid than another’s.”

The paper published four letters in support of Magid’s article and five opposed. Can’t get much more fair and balanced than that.