A coalition of over 1200 current and former U.S.-based journalists and news workers has condemned Israel’s actions in Gaza, specifically the killing of journalists during the ongoing conflict.

Candlelight vigil for reporters killed in the Israel-Gaza war, held by the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York City on Nov. 6, 2023. Photo by Talia Jane.
Candlelight vigil for reporters killed in the Israel-Gaza war, held by the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York City on Nov. 6, 2023. Photo by Talia Jane.

In a statement updated on Monday, The Committee to Protect Journalists has reported at least 36 journalists among the 11,000 Palestinians killed in Israel’s four-week siege, making it the deadliest conflict for journalists since 1992. According to the coalition, the urgency of the moment, necessitates a change in course by mainstream media to avoid becoming, as they put it, “accessories to genocide.”

The group is holding Western newsrooms accountable for what they describe as dehumanizing rhetoric and biased coverage that justifies the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. They point to a history of double standards, inaccuracies, and an absence of fair coverage, as outlined in a 2021 open letter signed by over 500 journalists.

The coalition has accused Israel of blocking foreign press entry, restricting telecommunications, and targeting media offices. The group contends that Israel’s actions, coupled with a historical pattern of suppressing speech, indicate a widespread assault on journalism.

Escalating violence, the challenges faced by reporters in Gaza, including power outages, food and water shortages, and a failing medical system were also noted. It is reported that journalists have been targeted both while working and in their homes, with families of reporters also falling victim to the airstrikes.

Wael Dahdouh, Gaza bureau chief for Al Jazeera, received the tragic news of his wife, children, and relatives being killed in an Israeli airstrike while on-air. Another strike on November 5 claimed the life of journalist Mohammad Abu Hassir along with 42 family members. The letter highlights other  deliberate attacks on journalists, citing an investigation by Reporters Without Borders into Israeli strikes on October 13 in South Lebanon that killed Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah.

The Demands

The coalition is demanding an immediate cessation of violence against journalists and civilians in Gaza as a top priority. They are urging Western media outlets and newsrooms to uphold objectivity when reporting on Israel’s actions against Palestinians.

Journalists are being encouraged to present the complete and contextualized truth without bias, acknowledging that concealing Israel’s oppression of Palestinians undermines the industry’s commitment to objectivity.

The U.S. journalists echo the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate‘s call for global condemnation of the targeting of journalists, expressing their solidarity with colleagues in Gaza. They draw attention to UN experts’ grave warning of the risk of genocide in Gaza, emphasizing the importance for journalists to use precise terms such as “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “genocide” without hesitation or bias.


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