How the media should report more fairly on Palestine/Israel

In the last weeks since the publication of a petition that I helped write, Do Better on Palestine, there’s been a lot of media backlash and public support. It’s a call for the media to more fairly and accurately report on Israel/Palestine.

US-based outlet The Intercept has just covered the whole saga and helpfully places it in a global context (ie. this is happening in many other nations).

The story by Akela Lacy is comprehensive and she interviewed a number of media figures, on and off the record, including me. Read the whole thing:

Journalists in Australia are facing backlash after asking their newsrooms to improve coverage of Israel and Palestine.

Five journalists in Australia published an open letter on May 14 calling on news outlets to “do better” coverage of Israel and Palestine by actively including Palestinian perspectives in coverage and refraining from “both-siderism that equates the victims of a military occupation with its instigators.” More than 720 journalists and media staffers have since signed the letter criticizing coverage of the fighting between Israel and Hamas. Israel has killed over 240 Palestinians, 66 of them children, and has left parts of Gaza completely destroyed, including a tower that housed offices for the Associated Press and Al Jazeera, among other media and nongovernmental organizations. Hamas, meanwhile, has killed 12 Israelis, including two children.

Already some of those journalists have faced consequences. At least a dozen staffers at two of Australia’s largest public broadcasting corporations, Special Broadcasting Service and Australian Broadcasting Corporation, were asked by management to remove their signatures from the letter, according to letter organizers and the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, an Australian media union. Several staffers at both SBS and ABC said they were also told that their contracts might not be renewed.

“The people who are being particularly pressured are younger journalists, and often people of color, and people who are from an Arab background,” said Antony Loewenstein, a journalist based in Sydney, Australia, and previously in East Jerusalem who helped organize the letter. “There’s not a suspicion of Jewish journalists doing their job, whereas there is for Arab journalists,” added Loewenstein, who is Australian and Jewish.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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