Friday, January 09, 2009

Some more comment on the reporting of Gaza

A couple of interesting posts about the media coverage of the Gaza conflict this morning.

Over at Charlie Beckett's Polis blog there is a guest appearance by Nina Bigalke who has been researching Al Jazeera's English channel for the last 18 months.

She points out the advantage that the channel has

The reason why the Israeli government’s ban was not effective in the case of AJE is strikingly simple. Their correspondents were around before the news broke. As coincidental as this may sound, it is symptomatic of a different approach to reporting where continuous presence takes precedence over momentary action.
and adds that

Those who are turning to Al Jazeera English for an entirely different kind of journalism may not find what they are looking for – but in its reporting on Gaza, the channel shows where its real potential for making a difference lies: in having a presence before news breaks in regions where other networks predominantly engage in situations of acute crisis. And in the political and cultural sensitivity on the part of the journalists that is growing out of this presence.

Whilst Reuters reports that

Israel has opened a hotline for tip-offs about uniformed officers or politicians suspected of spilling state secrets.

As the Israeli government continues its crackdown on reporting from the region it reports that

Soldiers have had cellphones confiscated to prevent them sending SMS messages about combat losses or troop deployments as they advance on Hamas and other Palestinian guerrillas in Gaza.
Military censors, who avoid nosing around routine news coverage, now show their teeth. Two Israeli freelancers were arrested on suspicion they gave an Iranian TV station details about the Gaza sweep that was not cleared for publication.

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