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Friday, June 19, 2009

Ma'an gets a little visit from Hamas

From Ma'an:
A delegation of Hamas leaders visited the independent Ma’an News Agency offices in Gaza City as part of efforts to develop relations between media outlets in the besieged Strip.

Ma’an’s Gaza director Imad Eid received the delegation, who related the party’s appreciation for its hard work and journalistic integrity. Eid thanked the delegation for its recognition of the news agency.

Leaders from all factions have called in recent days for news agencies affiliated with various factions end their partisan reporting and halt incitement campaigns around the issue of politically-motivated arrests.
Once upon a time, Ma'an actually reported critical stories about Hamas. Then, two years ago, Hamas started a campaign of threats and beatings against journalists, including those from Ma'an.

Ever since then, Ma'an has toned down its stories about Hamas in a very obvious way.

This story is a case in point. Hamas is not happy with any press freedoms in Gaza, and pays "visits" to journalists to remind them of what they face when they displease the de facto government. Since Hamas has recently started to increase their attacks on independent organizations, they want to ensure that those stories are being muted or silenced.

And Ma'an is happily playing along, publicly praising their tormenters.