Thursday, February 22, 2024

Are Canadian Journalists Accomplices To Israel’s Genocide?


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Journalists can be and may be charged with incitement to genocide for work they’ve published since October 7.

Since October 7, Israel’s genocide in Gaza — or the “Israel-Hamas war,” as many mainstream outlets like to call it — has dominated news coverage in Canada, including at The Maple.

Over that time, there has been some public introspection among journalists about how they’ve covered these events, the difficulties of doing so, what impact it has had on them, etc. The level of usefulness of these discussions has varied. 

On the lower end, a January 8 episode of Canadaland saw the publication’s founder, editor-in-chief, a veteran CBC journalist and the president of the Canadian Association of Journalists describe journalists in Canada as having “the weight of the world on their shoulders,” being “frightened” and “terrified,” and facing a public with “no kindness” for their mistakes. They spent just five seconds of the conversation talking about Israel killing Palestinian journalists, leaving more than enough time for some true pieces of insight like: “What makes this war different than, say, Ukraine, I think, is that we don’t have consensus. [...] There was general consensus that Putin’s the bad guy and Russia is the bad actor.”

A more useful occasion was a January 30 vigil for journalists killed since October 7. This event focused entirely on the journalists killed, described how the Israeli state is preventing them from doing their jobs, read out all of their names, and told some of their stories. More than 100 journalists showed up to the event in downtown Toronto, which is notable given that simple actions in the past such as calling on Israel not to kill journalists has led to professional repercussions. 

Still, there is much more to say. Looking abroad, one way to improve the conversation would be to think about how journalists here can act in solidarity with those being killed in Gaza. What can we do for those who share our profession? 

Looking inward and forward though, there’s a question that I haven’t seen anyone in media in this country reckon with: What does Israel potentially being guilty of genocide mean for us? Not just for Israel or Canada, but the news industry in Canada in particular.  (more...)

Are Canadian Journalists Accomplices To Israel’s Genocide?

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