More than 750 journalists from news organizations including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the Guardian signed a letter condemning Israel’s “killing of journalists in Gaza” – and they urged media outlets to use terms like “apartheid” and “genocide” in their publications. report to describe the Jewish nation’s treatment of Gazans.
“We condemn Israel’s killing of journalists in Gaza and call for integrity in Western media coverage of Israeli atrocities against Palestinians,” the letter read.
It adds that “the devastating bombing campaign and media blockade in Gaza threatens news gathering in an unprecedented way” and notes that at least 39 journalists have been killed in Gaza since the start of the war against Hamas – mainly as a result of retaliatory strikes by Israel, citing the latest report. tally from the Committee to Protect Journalists.
“As journalists, editors, photographers and other newsroom workers around the world, we are appalled by the massacre of our colleagues and their families by the Israeli army and government,” the letter continued.
“We write to demand an end to the violence against journalists in Gaza and to call on Western newsroom leaders to be lucid in their coverage of Israel’s repeated atrocities against the Palestinians.”
The letter goes on to say that those who signed “also hold Western newsrooms responsible for the dehumanizing rhetoric that has been used to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.”
“Double standards, inaccuracies, and errors abound in U.S. publications and have been well documented,” the letter asserts, noting: “More than 500 journalists signed an open letter in 2021 highlighting their concerns that U.S. media ignore Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. Yet the call for fair media coverage has gone unanswered.
“Editors have instead undermined Palestinian, Arab and Muslim perspectives, dismissing them as unreliable, and invoked inflammatory language that reinforces Islamophobic and racist tropes. They published misinformation spread by Israeli officials and failed to examine the indiscriminate killings of civilians in Gaza – committed with the support of the US government.
The signatories argue that newsrooms should adopt words such as “apartheid,” “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” in reporting on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, saying they are “precise and well-defined terms.” by international human rights organizations.
The letter concludes by saying that a journalist’s job is to “hold power to account” and that by refusing to do so, “we risk becoming complicit in genocide.”
“We renew the call on journalists to tell the whole truth without fear or favor,” it reads.
“Recognize that distorting our words to hide evidence of war crimes about Israel’s oppression of Palestinians is journalistic malpractice and an abdication of moral clarity,” he said.
“The urgency of this moment cannot be overstated. It is imperative that we change course.
Among the letter’s signatories was Abdallah Fayyad, a 2022 Pulitzer Prize finalist and former Boston Globe editorial board member.
“My hope with this letter is to push back on the culture of fear around this issue and make policymakers and publishers think twice about the language they use,” he told the Washington Post.
He said he was not calling on newsrooms to adopt the terminology that Israel is committing “genocide” or “ethnic cleansing,” but called it “a relevant fact that human rights groups leading man called Israel an apartheid regime,” in the same way that many news reports indicate that the United States has designated Hamas a terrorist group.
“This is the kind of double standard that I hope this letter will expose.”
Thursday’s letter came as hundreds of anti-Israel protesters occupied the lobby of the New York Times building and handed out mock copies of “War Crimes of New York.”
“We will continue to hold the New York Times accountable… for inciting genocide,” protesters chanted. “Not a dime, not a dime, no more money for the New York Times. Not a penny, not a penny, no more money for Israel’s crimes.
“New York Times, you cannot hide, we accuse you of genocide.”
They also said, “Fk New York Times” and “Tell the truth.”