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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gaza journalists admit Hamas censorship - including BBC

From JPost:
A delegation of Palestinian journalists from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank toured Tel Aviv on Thursday, as part of an initiative to build bridges between the Arab media and their peers in Israel.

Among those present were three reporters from the Gaza Strip and two from the West Bank. The reporters work for a variety of news outlets, both in the Arabic and English-speaking worlds....

One of the journalists, Palestinian TV broadcaster Lana Shaheen, said she appreciated the opportunity to meet fellow reporters in Israel and described the difficulties of being a reporter in the Gaza Strip.

...Shaheen says she has to contend with significant censorship from Hamas on what journalists can report from the Gaza Strip. Such limits make it very difficult to present a completely objective picture of the situation on the ground.

Shaheen said “to some extent” Hamas controls what they can report. She used the example of a friend who works for the BBC who produced a report on the rather widespread making of homemade wine in Gaza, “and the next day we receive a statement from a Hamas spokesman saying they are supporting the enemy and this is immoral.”
The question is, did the BBC end up running the story anyway?

I couldn't find any such BBC story, although AFP covered it last year. Apparently, the BBC caves to Islamist demands on how "objective" its news coverage can be.