Demands for media workers in this moment – Mondoweiss

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Western media is not only implicated in the genocide unfolding in Gaza through its double standards against Palestinians, but through its deep institutional complicity and collusion with the governments that are funding and committing this genocide. In light of this, and in the lead-up to the planned International Shutdown on Thursday, November 91, the Palestine movement2, calls on (1) media workers’ unions, (2) non-union media formations, and (3) individual media workers to:

  1. Organize strikes, resignations, protests, or other acts of disruption to demand fair coverage and honest reporting on Palestine. 
  2. Become or work with whistleblowers to expose the systems and persons complicit in manufacturing consent for the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Gaza. 
  3. Use their considerable public platforms in video, print, audio, and social media to publish stories about Gaza, speak truth to power, challenge misinformation, reject anti-Palestinian racism, and condemn the targeting and killing of Palestinian journalists3 and their families.
  4. Demand an end to journalistic malpractice with regards to Palestine, including war crime denialism, state stenography, fact omission, fabrication, passive voice, deliberate undermining of Palestinian interviewees, and the use of dehumanizing language and racist4 and Islamophobic tropes5.
  5. Demand that newsrooms insist that their foreign correspondents be let into Gaza6 as well as trust the expertise of Palestinian journalists in Gaza who risk their lives to provide real-time coverage and analysis of the Israeli army’s atrocities.
  6. Replace pernicious and reductive media framings like “Israel-Hamas war”, “Hamas-run hospital”, “clashes”, etc., with accurate and truthful language that highlights the context of Israel’s decades-long siege of Gaza, including “genocide,” “blockade,” “occupation,” and/or “Israel’s assault on the besieged Gaza Strip.”
  7. Demand an end to all recrimination against media workers advocating in solidarity with the Palestinian people and enact protections that safeguard them from disciplinary action.
  8. Publish the names of Palestinian victims—women, children, and especially men (who are often rendered ungrievable) whose numbers are reaching 10,000 and rapidly increasing every hour, with hundreds, if not thousands, still under the rubble.

Notes

1. An international, multi-industry call made by the Palestinian Youth Movement, National Students for Justice in Palestine, and others for labor unions, the student sector, media workers, and others.

2. These demands are made in line with the demands made by the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate on Oct 31, 2023. 

3. Since the 7th of October, 25 Palestinian journalists and 13 workers for media agencies have been killed by Israeli bombardment. Over the same period there have been direct attacks on the homes of 35 journalists, killing dozens of their family members. At least 20 of the 25 journalists killed were intentionally targeted by strikes on their homes or during their work covering Israel’s attacks. 

4. Rejecting anti-Palestinian racism includes responding to Israeli spokespersons who use demeaning, and genocidal language against the Palestinian People on your channels the same way you would respond to anti-semitic or anti-black remarks. 

5. As per basic journalistic standards, verify and challenge Israeli claims before publishing incendiary falsities that further manfactures consent for the genocide of the Palestinian People.

6. International correspondents being present in Gaza is imperative, especially during frequent media blackouts due to Israel cutting off internet and telecommunication channels in the Strip. 

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