Gaza War - Media

Media

Main article: Media and the Gaza War

International news networks named the conflict "War in Gaza" and focused on the assault. Israeli media called it the "War in the South" (Hebrew: מלחמה בדרום‎ Milẖama BaDarom) and dispatched reporters to Israeli towns hit by rockets. Al Jazeera suggested that it was a war against Palestinian civilians with the title "War on Gaza". There was limited reporter access to the war zone. The Foreign Press Association of Israel released a statement saying, "The unprecedented denial of access to Gaza for the world's media amounts to a severe violation of press freedom and puts the state of Israel in the company of a handful of regimes around the world which regularly keep journalists from doing their jobs."

Media facilities in Gaza, both foreign and domestic, came under Israeli fire in the military campaign. On one occasion a Grad rocket may have been launched from a location near the television studios in the Al-Shuruk tower in Gaza City. Although the Israeli recording of a reporter describing a rocket launch was during the initial aerial bombardment phase the tower was only bombed in the final few days. On December 29, the IDF destroyed the facilities and headquarters of Al-Aqsa TV (though broadcasts continue from elsewhere), and a week later, IDF soldiers entered the building and seized the equipment. The Israelis also hacked into the station's signal and broadcast an animated clip of Hamas' leadership being gunned down. On January 5, the IDF bombed the offices of the Hamas-affiliated Al-Risala newsweekly. On January 9, the IDF hit the Johara tower of Gaza City, which houses more than 20 international news organizations, including Turkish, French, and Iranian outlets. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said that the building had not been targeted, though it may have sustained damage from a nearby Israeli strike.

On January 12, two Arab journalists from Jerusalem working for an Iranian television station were arrested by Israeli Police and indicted in the Jerusalem District Court for violating military censorship protocols. They had reported on the IDF ground offensive hours before they were cleared to do so. The journalists maintained that they merely stated what was already being said in the international media.

Media relations also played an important role, with the use of new media (up to and including cyber warfare) on the part of both Israel and Hamas. Haaretz reported that Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni "instructed senior ministry officials to open an aggressive and diplomatic international public relations campaign to gain support for Israel Defense Forces operations in the Gaza Strip". Israeli officials at embassies and consulates worldwide have mounted campaigns in local media, and to that end have recruited people who speak the native language. Israel has also opened an international media centre in Sderot. To improve Israeli public relations, the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption has recruited 1,000 volunteers with the objective of flooding news websites and blogs that the ministry term as anti-Israeli with pro-Israeli opinions. Volunteers proficient in languages other than Hebrew were particularly sought after.

Foreign Press Branch head Avital Leibovich believes the "new media" is another war zone, stating, "We have to be relevant there." As part of its public-relations campaign, the Israeli army opened a YouTube channel "through which it will disseminate footage of precision bombing operations in the Gaza Strip, as well as aid distribution and other footage of interest to the international community".

Read more about this topic:  Gaza War

Famous quotes containing the word media:

    The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western World. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity—much less dissent.
    Gore Vidal (b. 1925)

    The media network has its idols, but its principal idol is its own style which generates an aura of winning and leaves the rest in darkness. It recognises neither pity nor pitilessness.
    John Berger (b. 1926)

    The media no longer ask those who know something ... to share that knowledge with the public. Instead they ask those who know nothing to represent the ignorance of the public and, in so doing, to legitimate it.
    Serge Daney (1944–1992)