L bjornsen what obstacles do palestinian journalists face

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WhatbarriersdoPalestinianjournalistsfaceintheirwork? AscreeningreportoftheprofessionalobstaclesofjournalistsintheOccupiedPalestinianTerritoriesSeptember,2011

ByLenaBjornsenfortheMediaDevelopmentCenteratBirzeitUniversity

IndexScopeoftheReport 3

IntroducEon 5

Foreword:ThemedialandscapeofPalesEne 6

WhichbarriersdoPalesEnianjournalistsmeetintheirwork? 7

1. Securityissues 7

HarassmentbytheIsraeliOccupaEonForces(IOF) 8

HarassmentbythePalesEnianSecurityForces(PSF) 9

2. DiculEesinaccessinginformaEonandsources 10

Ge[ngthenecessarypapers 10

Physicalbarrierscheckpoints 10

Technologicalobstacles 11

3. PoliEcalcensorshipandselfcensorship 12

PoliEcalbiasandsympathiesofthejournalists 15

4. Socialissuesandtaboos 16

5. Unemploymentandwages 18

6. LackofprofessionalandadequateeducaEonandtraining 19

7. LackofindependentandinuenEalunions 20

8. FinancialobstaclesandcorrupEon 21

9. Legalobstacles 22

Israelilaw 22

PalesEnianlaw 22

MediacultureinPalesEnejournalisEcidealsandvalues 24

Conclusion 26

Bibliography 28

Annex1:JournalismEducaEonandTraininginPalesEne 30

Annex2:PalesEnianMediaOutlets 31

ScopeoftheReport

ThisreportexploresthespecicdiculEesPalesEnianjournalistsencounterwhencarryingouttheirprofessionalduEes.ThereportcomespriortotheconducEonofacourseinconictsensiEvejournalismattheMediaDevelopmentCenteratBirzeitUniversityandoriginatedasahelpingtoolinrecognizingwhichpracEcalissuesaecttheimplementaEonofconictsensiEvejournalismintheOccupiedPalesEnianTerritories(OPT).

ConictsensiEvejournalismcaninshortbedescribedasanawarenessoftheeectofthemediainareasofconictandistypicallylinkedtocertainpracEcaltoolsandmethodswhichmediaprofessionalscanusetoensureaccurate,unbiased,andnoninammatorycoverage.

WhenputintopracEceconictsensiEvejournalismwillinevitablyencountercontextspecicdiculEeswhenfacedwiththerealityofacertainareaandwhensoughtconnectedtotheexisEngjournalisEcrouEnesandculturesofaspecicareaandconict.Allareas(andconicts)aredierentandcontaindierentcultures,peopleandmoEves.Itisthereforelikelythatcontextspecicbarrierswillarise.

Every conict and peace building situa6on is dierent and thus requires a specic examina6on, especiallytodaywhenmostconictsare internal,not interna6onal.Most conicthascomplicatedrootsandthere israrelyasingledeterminant.Ethnicity,religion,economicorresourcescarcity,forexample,maybeatplay.Adecision to considermediarelated ini6a6vesneeds tobe informedbyaprior countryand regional conictanalysis. Theanalysis of conictwill inevitablyproduce indica6onsof impactsuponmedia. (RossHoward,IMPACS,2002)

ThisreportthereforedealsspecicallywiththePalesEnianpracEcalandculturalcontextandissuesthatarerelevantwhentryingtoincorporatetoolsofconictsensiEvejournalismintothePalesEnianmediaindustry.

ThereportisbasedonseveralqualitaEvesurveysofthePalesEnianmedialandscapeandthePalesEnianaudience.InaddiEontothese,theanalysisinthereportwilldrawontheexperiencesoffourinterviewswithlocaljournalistsandmediaprofessionals(includingchiefeditoroftheAlHalnewspaperwhoisalsothedirectoroftheMediaDevelopmentCenter)andagroupofjournalismstudents.

Therespondentsincludemenandwomen,dierentagegroups,dierentlevelsofexperience,anddierentworkingelds.Therespondentsarekeptanonymousforthesafetyofthejournalists,butnamesareknownbytheMediaDevelopmentCenter.Thegroupofrespondentsinclude:

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EditoratAlhayatAljaeedaNewsaper

FormerreporteratWAFA

MediaRelaEonsAdministratorinpublicinsEtuEon/freelancer

ChiefeditoroftheAlHalnewspaperanddirectoroftheMediaDevelopmentCenteratBirzeitUniversity

Agroupof10JournalismstudentsattheMediaDepartmentattheBirzeitUniversity

BasedonthesurveysandtheinterviewsthereportiscenteredaroundselectedissueswhichsignicantlyinuencetheworkenvironmentofPalesEnianjournalistsandwhichthereforealsopotenEallyaecttheimplementaEonofconictsensiEvejournalisminthePalesEnianmediaindustry.

Securityissues

Censorshipandselfcensorship

Socialissuesandtaboos

WorkcondiEons,including:

o Unemploymentandwages

o EducaEonandtraining

o AccesstoinformaEonandsources

FinancialobstaclesandcorrupEon

Legalobstacles

MediacultureandjournalisEcideals

Toclarify,theaimofthereportistobeasourceofinsighttotheareaspecicobstaclesfacedbyPalesEnianjournalists.ItsananalysisofhowtheconictwithIsraelaswellastheinternalpoliEcalandsocialculturepresentbarriersforjournalistsabilitytocarryouttheirprofessionalduEesandtherebyalsohowthesebarrierswillalsopotenEallyaecttheimplementaEonofconictsensiEvejournalism.

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Introduc0on

The work environment of PalesEnian journalists is deeply aected by the poliEcal tension caused by theconictbetweenPalesEneandIsraelandtheoccupaEonofthePalesEnianTerritoriesbyIsraelsince1967.TheproblemaEc relaEonshipbetween IsraelandPalesEnehas led tomuchbloodshedover theyears not leastduringthetwoinEfadasinthe1980sand2000swhichhascreatedatenseatmosphereintheregion.Andthough, the situaEon has been relaEvely quiet the past couple of years, clashes between PalesEnians andIsraelioccupaEonforces(IOF)happenonaweeklybasiscausingaconEnuouslydicultpoliEcalrelaEonshipwhichagainhasasignicanteectontheworkcondiEonsforlocalPalesEnianjournalists.

Also, the internal poliEcal situaEon aects the PalesEnian media industry. Internal poliEcal disagreementsbetweentheleadingparEesofHamasandFatahledtoaviolentconictstarEngin2006,whichcausedamoreorlessocialdivideofthePalesEnianTerritorieswhereHamasruledtheGazaStripandFatahtheWestBank.ThisdividehadadirecteectonthePalesEnianmediabycausingsignicantrestricEonsinpressfreedomsaswellasithasledtoformalcensorshipenforcedbyPalesEnianauthoriEesandinformalselfcensorshipamongjournalistsandmediahousesduetothefearofaiacks,arrestsorotherformsofharassment.

Decadesof internalandexternal conicthave led toapresent situaEonof tensionandmistrustamong thePalesEnianpeople.ANearEastConsulEng(NEC)surveyof the PalesEniansPercepEonTowardsPoliEcsandReligionfromNovember2010showedthat90percentofthePalesEniansareconcernedaboutthesituaEoningeneral.Itislikelythatthisgeneralmoodofconcernaswellasthedirect restricEonscausedbytheIsraelioccupaEonandtheinternalpoliEcalparEsandividealsoaectthePalesEnianjournalists.

AccordingtoasurveyofthePalesEnianmediainthespringof2011,alsoconductedbytheNEC,53percentofthePalesEnianmediaorganizaEonssaidthattheyhadsueredrestricEonsinthepastsuchasclosure,threatsandaiacksonstaorproperty.

MADAthePalesEnianCenterforDevelopmentandMediaFreedomsregistersviolaEonsagainstjournalistsoperaEng in Jerusalem, theWestBank, and inGaza. In 2010218 violaEonswere reported, averaging at 18violaEons a month ranging from physical aiacks, detenEons, arrests, and summonses for invesEgaEons,destrucEonofproperty(e.g.slashedEresofvehicles),threats,andrestricEonsinmovingfreely.

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Foreword:ThemedialandscapeofPales0ne

Quick stats based on NECs Survey of PalesEnian Media from 2011 and Internews PalesEnians and themediafrom2006:

Thereare192mediaorganiza0onsintheOccupiedPalesEnianTerritories(OPTs).ThemajorityisbasedintheWestBank.

AboutonemhoftheTVstaEonsandonemhoftheradiostaEonsclaimtobroadcastthroughouttheOPTs.Therestarelocalmediaoutlets.

FourofvemediaoutletssaidtheirfundingcomesmainlyfromprivatesourcessuchasadverEsing,16percentsaidinternaEonalNGOsandfourpercentsaidgovernmentfunding.

42 percent of the PalesEnians said interna0onal satellite TV is their main source of informaEoncomparedto24percentfromlocalTV,20percentfromtheInternet,eightpercentfromtheradioandthreepercentfromnewspapers.

Mostwatched TV staEons in theOPTs are:Al Jazeera (Qatar based), PalesEne TV (PA staEon),MBCentertainmentchannels,AlArrabiyahnewschannel(DubaibasedconnectedtoMBC),andAbuDhabiTV.

88percentofthePales0niansfollowthenewsonadailybasis.

PriortotheOsloAccordsin1993,IsraeldeniedanypublicaEonofnewspapers,orbroadcasEngofradioandTV.Only theArabicnewspaperAlQuds,which isbased inEast Jerusalem,hasbeenpublishedsince1951.Since1993themediaindustryhasblossomedintheOPTthoughthesecondinEfadaintheearly2000sputseriouseconomicpressureonmanymediaoutletsandcausedthemtoclosedown.SEll,todaycloseto200moreorlessindependentmediaorganizaEonsexistintheOPTs.

WithonemhofthePalesEniansclaimingtheinternetastheirprimarynewssource,onlinemediaisnaturallyexpanding.IsraelregulatestheInternetaccessintheOPTs.SEll,accesstointernetisrapidlygrowing.In2006,itwasesEmatedthatnearly243,000PalesEnians,about13percentofthepopulaEon,hadaccesstotheInternet.In 2011 this number has climbed to 70 percent 85 percent of these have internet access in their homes.WorthnoEcingis,thattheresawideraccesstotheInternetinGaza(76percent)comparedtotheWestBank(67percent).

Major electronic media outlets include PalesEne News Network (PNN), PalesEne News Agency, PalesEneMediaCenter(PMC),MaanNewsAgency,RamaianRamallahNewsAgency,QodsNewsAgency,SamaNewsPalesEne,andAlZaitonaNewsAgency.

Alsosocialnetworkshavebeenrapidlyexpandinginrecentyears.Inthespringof2011,60percentofthePalesEniansusesocialnetworksaccordingtoaNECsurveyonequarterofthepeopleintheagegroupof1824saidtheyusedsocialnetworksextensively.

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WhichbarriersdoPales0nianjournalistsmeetintheirwork?

Working in a country under occupaEon presents daily limitaEons for PalesEnian journalists. They meetharassment and are prevented from freemovement thereby restricEng their access to events, informaEon,and sources. But also issuesof culture, educaEon, and socioeconomic concerns canhinder journalists frombeing able to carry out their duEes professionally. This report examines thework condiEons of PalesEnianjournalistsandseekstolistthemajorobstaclestheyface.

AccordingtoasurveybytheNECinMay2011threeoutoffourofthePalesEnianmediaorganizaEonsndthattheoccupaEonpresentthemainrestricEon,butthereportalsorevealsthatjournalistsfeelthatthePAintheWestBankandHamasinGazaarerestricEngtheirwork.

RestricEonsaretoahighdegreeduetophysicalharassmentmakingsecurityissuesoneofthemostimportanttopics in this report. But the interviewswith local journalists also pointed to other important issueswhichpresentnoteworthybarriersforafreeandopenPalesEnianpress.TheseissuesincludepoliEcalparEsanship,patrioEsm,selfcensorshipduetofearofsocietalsEgmaandexclusion,socialandculturaltaboos,corrupEonandbribery,lackofeducaEonandtraining,andlegalrestricEons.

Severalofthelistedissuesarenaturallycloselylinked;securityrisksarelikelytocauseselfcensorship,lackofeducaEonmakes ithardtoovercomethefearofsocietalsEgmaEzaEonetc.SEll, thedierent issueswillbediscussed separately in the following analysis as away to get a beier overview. The analysis is backed byquotesfromthefourrespondentsaswellasquotesfromrespondentsinotherqualitaEvesurveys.Toensurethesafetyoftherespondents,allnamesandinformaEonthatwillidenEfytherespondentsarelemoutofthereport.ThenamesareknownbytheauthorandbytheMediaDevelopmentCenter.NamesofbusinessesandcorporaEonsmenEonedbytherespondentsarealsolemout,asthefocusofthisreportisnttoaccusespecicbusinesses, poliEcians etc. SEll, names of media houses are lem in as it is seen as relevant for theunderstandingofthePalesEnianmediaindustry.

1. Securityissues

MADAsAnnualViolaEonsReportof2010registered218casesofviolaEonsagainstjournalistsduring2010.Byfar, themostof these 99caseswerephysicalaiackson journalists.Of these89werecommiiedby theIsraeliOccupaEonForce(IOF)and10byPalesEnianSecurityForces(PSF).

When a group of journalism students were asked whether they knew anyone who had been physicallyaiackedtheanswerwas:Everyjournalisthastriedit.

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OtherviolaEonsincludeddetenEons,arrests,threats,prevenEonofcoverageandprevenEonoftraveling.TheamountoftheseviolaEonswasalmostthesameamongtheIOFandthePSF.

Whetheritstheriskofphysicalaiackorotherkindsofharassment,it islikelythatitwillpreventjournalistsfromcoveringcertainareasand issueswhere theyknowtheresa riskofge[ngaiacked, imprisoned,or inotherwaysharassed.

Youjusttrytocoveritinawaysoyoudontgetjailed.Journalismstudents

HarassmentbytheIsraeliOccupa0onForces(IOF)

Throughout201089physicalaiackson journalistsby IOFwere reported.The riskofphysicalharassment isbiggerincertainareas.Hebron,withitshighdensityofsoldiersduetothepresenceofseilementsinsidethecity,istheareawiththemostreportsofviolaEonsagainstjournalists.

JournalistsherearesubjectedtofrequentaTacksbecausetheIsraeliarmydoesnotwantthemtoreportontheongoingseTleraggression:theyseektopunishus inordertoplacatetheseTlersAgenceFrancePressephotographer(fromMADAAnnualViola6onsReport:2010)

Also inRamallahand its surrounding villagesaswell as in Jerusalem,aiacksby IOFare frequentandomenoccurwhilejournalistscoverdemonstraEonsorclashes.

The IOF dont want journalists to print daily updates on the reality of the situa6on in Jerusalem. Theviolence against Jerusalembased journalists is con6nual and brutal, they want to stop our work andpreventusfromreachingareaswhereaTacksandclashesaretakenplace.IwassubjectedtomanyaTacksin2010,Iwasbeatenunconsciousmany6mes,wakinguponthegroundorinhospitalwithnomemoryofhowIgotthere.AlQudsNetreporter(fromMADAAnnualViola6onsReport:2010)

IfjournalistsriskphysicalharassmentitwillnaturallyleadtotheriskofjournalistsnotpursuingcertainstorieswhichwilllimitthecoverageofsensiEvestories.Theinterviewsrevealed,though,thatthefearofaiacksandarrests dont necessarily keep journalists away from the re. In the interviews journalists explain thatharassmentisalmostexpectedandalsonotsomethingworsethanwhattheygothroughwhentheyarenotworking:

Journalists are targeted theway any Pales6nian is targeted, they are not respected. Editor at AlhayatAljaeedaNewsaper

ManyPales6niansespeciallyyoungmenriskbeingbeatenupatcheckpointsgoingtovisittheirmothers,orwhencominghomefromworkorsomethinglikethat.Sotheyareusedtoit.TheaTackmightbemoreharsh,butmanydontcare:yeah,Igotbeatenup,butthenIgotareallygoodstory,unbiasedandbalanced.Mostofthejournalistswhogetphysicallyharassedaretheoneswithacameraandifyouhaveacamerathenyouhaveafoolproofstory.FormerreporteratWAFA

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ThoughthephysicalthreatoftheIOFdoesntnecessarilyseemtodeterallPalesEnianjournalistsfromge[ngthestoriestheyseek,itislikelytoaecttheangleoftheoriginalstoryaswellasthejournalistsabilitytobeunbiased. In theabovestatement footageof IOFharassment is seenasa bulletproof story in itselfwhichboth means that the harassment take away focus from whatever the original story was and potenEallyoverexpose aiacks on journalists. Also it will likely lead to a biased story as the journalist become thevicEmized source instead of the observing third party making it harder for the journalist to nd the linebetweenjournalistandcivilian.

HarassmentbythePales0nianSecurityForces(PSF)

TheMADAreportonpressfreedomviolaEonsof2010countsfewerincidentsofphysicalharassmentbythePSF10outof99reportedincidents.SEll,theamountofarrestsanddetenEonswereatthesamelevelastheIOF in2010andthePSFtoahigherextentusemeansofraidsandsummonsfor invesEgaEon.AccordingtoMADAsmidyearreport,14journalistshavebeeninterrogatedbythePalesEnianAuthori...

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