SPJ calls for protection of journalists working in Gaza
Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, SPJ National President, email@example.com
Kim Tsuyuki, SPJ Communications Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists joins other journalists and media organizations in expressing deep concern for the safety of journalists reporting on the Israel-Hamas conflict. Journalists in the region have faced a hostile environment that has made reporting difficult.
“Journalists in Israel and Palestine territories face attacks, arrests, threats and censorship making it nearly impossible to continue reporting,” said SPJ National President Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins. “During this time, it is imperative that journalists are able to document what’s happening on the ground so the public can remain informed. Targeting journalists who are simply doing their jobs is unacceptable.”
Since the war began on Oct. 7, at least 33 journalists and media workers have been killed and there have been at least 18 incidents of journalists being targeted while carrying out their work, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Journalists in Gaza face dangerous conditions as they try to cover the conflict amid disrupted communications, extensive power outages and airstrikes. On Oct. 27, the Israeli Defense Force told Reuters and Agence France Presse that it cannot guarantee the safety of their journalists in the Gaza Strip.
Reporters Without Borders has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court for war crimes committed against Palestinian journalists in Gaza on Wednesday. The organizations said it previously filed complaints regarding eight Palestinian journalists “who were killed in bombardments of civilian areas in Gaza” and an Israeli journalist who was killed on Oct. 7 while covering an attack on his kibbutz by Hamas.
A petition has been signed by nearly 100 French journalists, demanding access to Gaza and for the protection of journalists covering the conflict. The blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza 16 years ago restricts access to the Palestinian territory. Journalists would either need to get authorization from Israeli authorities or enter another way.
SPJ condemns the violence against journalists in Gaza. Journalists must be allowed to report freely and do their job to keep people around the world informed of current events. All journalists who have been arrested must be released without charges, their equipment should be returned and they should not face further persecution. Journalists should never be the target of threats and cyberattacks for informing citizens about important news occurring in their community, county or the world.
SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.