PRC Hosts Panel Discussion on Struggles of Palestinian Journalists

PRC Hosts Panel Discussion on Struggles of Palestinian Journalists

The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) in London held on Monday a panel discussion entitled “Reporting on Palestine: In Conversation with Palestinian Journalists”.

Palestinian journalists in Palestine and other parts of the world discussed current developments and the challenges they continue to face due to Israeli crackdowns.

The panel of speakers includes Mariam Barghouti a Palestinian-American writer, blogger, researcher, commentator and journalist. She obtained a BA in English language and English Literature from the Birzeit University with a focus on sociolinguistics. She received MSc degree in Sociology and Global Change from the University of Edinburgh with a focus on Israeli Ashkenazi-Mizrahi racial hierarchies. She has commented on media double standards when reporting on Palestine and has written about Israeli violations against Palestinians and the harsh realities and experiences faced by Palestinians under Israeli control. During the 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis, she raised concerns on what she says is Israel's suppression attitude towards Palestine through her work on the ground as a researcher, journalist, and listener.

The second speaker was Malak Silmi, a Palestinian-American freelance journalist based in Michigan. She recently worked for Outlier Media as the local government reporter covering Detroit’s city council, police and other departments. Before that, she worked for San Antonio Express-News in Texas, where she covered trending and breaking news. Silmi graduated with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and international studies from Wayne State University in 2020. During her college years, Silmi served as a reporter and news editor at the student newspaper, The South End, and completed internships at Michigan Radio, Detroit Metro Times and The New York Times Student Journalism Institute.

Also on the panel was Nader Ihmoud, activist, journalist and founder of Palestine in America.

The final speaker was Daoud Kuttab, a Palestinian-American journalist. In 1980, Kuttab began his career at Al-Fajr, an English-language weekly newspaper. In 1987, he left Al-Fajr for Al-Quds, an Arabic-language daily newspaper based in East Jerusalem. He also contributed to The Jerusalem Post. Kuttab was critical of press censorship by both the Israel government and the Palestinian Authority. On several occasions, he participated in rallies against Israeli censorship, resulting in his being arrested and searched. He has won several international awards, including a 1996 International Press Freedom Award of the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists.  In 2000, the Austria-based International Press Institute named him one of its fifty World Press Freedom Heroes of the previous fifty years.

The speakers highlighted attacks on Palestinian journalists, particularly since October 7. The Israel-Gaza war has taken a severe toll on journalists since Hamas launched its unprecedented attack against Israel on October 7 and Israel declared war on the entire Gaza strip, launching deadly and relentless strikes on the blockaded Gaza Strip.

The speakers called for the urgent need to investigate all reports of journalists and media workers killed, injured, or missing in the war, which has led to the deadliest period for journalists in years.

Preliminary investigations conducted by the Committee to protect journalists as of April 29, 2024 showed at least 97 journalists and media workers were among the more than 35,000 killed since the war began on October 7.

Journalists in Gaza face particularly high risks as they try to cover the conflict during the Israeli ground and air assaults, including devastating shelling, disrupted communications, supply shortages, and extensive power outages.


Watch the full panel discussion here:


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