“Patriotism, Pressure and Press Freedom: How Israeli and Palestinian Media Cover the Conflict from the Inside” highlights the lack of free movement for journalists emerges as the single greatest challenge to local reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Most Palestinian journalists are unable to enter Israel, and are subject to restrictions even within the West Bank, while Gaza residents have problems leaving the Strip. Israeli journalists, for their part, are unable to visit Gaza and may face new accreditation requirements in the West Bank. As a result, most journalists from the region who cover the conflict are unable to witness life on the other side or conduct face-to-face interviews. This, in turn, compromises their ability to report comprehensively.
The report is based on interviews with over 50 journalists and media experts in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza that were carried out over a week in February 2013. The delegation included: IPI Senior Press Freedom Adviser Naomi Hunt; World Press Freedom Hero Daoud Kuttab, who runs the Community Media Network in Jordan; and Norwegian journalist and project consultant Kjetil Haanes.
Special attention was paid to coverage of the Nov. 2012 Gaza conflict. The team found that Israeli and Palestinian media work under considerable pressure, whether economic or political, and Palestinian journalists in particular are subject to lawsuits, attacks and imprisonment by both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities.