Tom Gross is a British-born journalist and international affairs commentator, specializing in the Middle East . He was formerly Jerusalem correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and for the New York Daily News. He is a contributor to The Wall Street Journal and National Review in the United States, and has also written in Britain for The Daily Telegraph, Spectator, Evening Standard and The Guardian, among other publications.
Much of his work has concerned the way the international media covers the Middle East. His article “The Forgotten Rachels”, in regards to Rachel Corrie, caused an international stir. He has been sharply critical of the BBC, arguing that their Middle East coverage is strongly slanted against Israel. In addition, he has subjected the coverage of Reuters and CNN to scrutiny.
He has also been strongly critical of The New York Times, both for their general foreign coverage, and historically for what he terms their “lamentable record of not covering the Holocaust.” “The Times,” wrote Gross, “possibly because they feared people might (wrongly) think of it a as ‘Jewish’ paper, made sure reports were brief and buried inside the paper. During the war, no article about the Jews’ plight ever qualified as the Times’ leading story of the day.”
Education and family
Gross was educated at Oxford University, where he studied politics, philosophy and economics. He was born into a literary family in London. His father, John Gross, is an author and critic, and his mother, Miriam Gross, and sister, Susanna Gross, are prominent literary editors. Gross' grandfather was Kurt May, a German-Jew who fled Nazi persecution to Jerusalem, where his mother was born. May, a lawyer who was disbarred in Nazi Germany for his Jewish heritage, later contributed significantly to the legal battle of The United Restitution Organization, which fought to attain restitution from German companies for persecuted Jews, after World War II.
Before being based in the Middle East, Gross lived and worked in Prague, where he served as correspondent (covering the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Albania) for the (London) Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph. In addition, he wrote a regular op-ed column for The Prague Post and op-eds for the leading Czech daily Lidové Noviny.
Elle and MTV
Before turning to political journalism and commentary, Gross worked in more popular media. He helped launch the Czech edition of Elle magazine, the first international glossy magazine in post-communist Eastern Europe.
He also served as Prague Events Coordinator for MTV Europe, and has written for other glossy fashion magazines, including Harper’s and Queen, the Italian edition of Elle and the British edition of Cosmopolitan.
Work on Roma
Tom Gross has also worked and written extensively on the political and social situation of the Roma (Gypsies). “This is one of the most painful and disturbing problems in Europe today, though it is often neglected or misreported by the mainstream media,” he wrote.
For two years, based in Prague, he served as a special advisor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the plight of Czech Roma, mainly relating to citizenship issues arising as a result of the break up of Czechoslovakia. He has even gone so far as to criticize the internationally renowned liberal icon and playwright Vaclav Havel, for not doing enough to help Roma while he served as Czech president.
He has acted as a consultant on Roma to the OSCE and for several non-governmental organizations, including Amnesty International, Helsinki Watch, the Danish Refugee Council and the Dutch Asylum Seekers Center.
His views on Roma have been cited in a number of print publications, including The New York Times. He has also written about Roma in publications including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Ha’aretz, and The Prague Post.
Gross wrote the obituary in Britain’s Guardian newspaper of Milena Hubschmannova, the founding professor of Roma studies at Prague’s Charles University, and one of the leading Roma experts of her generation.
Television and radio
Tom Gross has worked on a number of television programs and documentary films, including BBC TV specials on Czech Roma, the “BBC Rough Guide to Prague and Bratislava,” and a BBC documentary on Sudeten Germans.
Tom Gross is co-author (with Margaret Helfgott) of “Out of Tune: David Helfgott and the Myth of Shine” (Warner Books, New York, 1998) and of “The Time Out Guide to Prague” (Penguin Books, London, 1995).
“Out of Tune” received enthusiastic reviews in leading newspapers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Britain, China and South America. It was acclaimed as “a significant and courageous work on both music and the movies.”
Gross has also contributed essays to a number of books, including “Those Who Forget The Past” (edited by Ron Rosenbaum, Random House, New York, 2004).
He has worked as a consultant on several books, including “Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and their Journey” (by Isabel Fonseca), and as an editor on others, including “Germany and its Gypsies: A post-Auschwitz ordeal” (by Gilad Margalit).
- ↑ “Palestine’s Missing Critics,” Editorial, Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2009 
- ↑ “If this Isn't Terrorism, What Is?” Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2008 
- ↑ National Review Media Blog 
- ↑ “A promising, independent Palestine is quietly being developed,” The Guardian, December 7, 2009 
- ↑ National Post Full Comment Blog 
- ↑ “The Forgotten Rachels,” The Spectator, Oct. 22, 2005 
- ↑ “Living in a Bubble: The BBC’s very own Mideast foreign policy” 
- ↑ “The BBC discovers ‘terrorism,’ briefly: Suicide bombing seems different when closer to home,” The Jerusalem Post, July 12, 2005 
- ↑ “The Case of Reuters,” The National Review 
- ↑ “This is CNN,” March 20, 2009, The National Review 
- ↑ “All The News That’s Fit To Print?” The National Review, March 14, 2003 
- ↑ “Reporting Auschwitz, Then & Now: The lamentable record of The New York Times,” The Jerusalem Post, Feb. 2, 2005 
- ↑ http://www.museumstuff.com/learn/topics/Miriam_Gross
- ↑ Ferencz, Benjamin B. Less than Slaves. 2002, page 40-1
- ↑ “Persecuted under Vaclav Havel” The Spectator, Nov. 8, 1997 
- ↑ “Obituary of Milena Hubschmannova, Czech champion of the Roma,” The Guardian, Sept. 19, 2005