750 int'l journalists sign letter protesting coverage of Israel

Ahram Online , Friday 10 Nov 2023

More than 750 journalists from dozens of news organizations have signed an open letter published Thursday, condemning Israel’s killing of reporters in the Gaza Strip and criticizing Western media’s coverage of the war.

Palestinians flee the Naser neighbourhood following Israeli airstrike on Gaza City. AP


The journalists’ letter, which includes signatories from Reuters, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post, exposes divisions and frustrations within US newsrooms about their coverage of the war in Gaza.

According to the Washington Post, the letter said that newsrooms are accountable for dehumanizing rhetoric justifying the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the strip.

“My hope for this letter is to push back on the culture of fear around this issue and to make decision-makers and reporters and editors think twice about the language that they use,” said Abdallah Fayyad, a 2022 Pulitzer Prize finalist and former editorial board member at the Boston Globe, who signed the letter.

Moreover, the letter said that journalists should use words like "genocide and ethnic cleansing" to describe Israel’s aggression in Gaza against the Palestinians.

Fayyad added that he was not urging newsrooms to adopt those terms for their own descriptions.

"It is a relevant fact to say that leading human rights groups have called Israel an apartheid regime, just as many news stories note that the US has designated Hamas as a terrorist organization," he said. "That’s the kind of double standard I hope this letter will call out.”

The latest letter follows several other open letters in recent weeks, showing solidarity with Palestinians amid Israeli aggression on Gaza.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 39 media workers have been killed in Gaza in Israeli airstrikes.

A recent investigation by Reporters Without Borders said that Israel had targeted journalists in an airstrike in mid-October, which killed Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah and wounded six others.

In late October, Israeli army officials informed Reuters and Agence France-Presse that it would not guarantee the safety of their media workers operating in Gaza.

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