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'News you can't use from sources you don't trust'
- Succinct summary of the media, from the Institute for Alternative Journalism


What Is The Use Of A Media That Does Not Inform?

Aine Fox


I am writing to highlight the desperate position of the Palestinian people and their land. Although international news coverage has finally focused on this occupation and conflict all mainstream media outlets including those in this country have failed to bring to the population of the north the truth of what is happening in the region.

It’s worse than we could ever imagine. With the current week of mayhem perpatrated by the Israeli Defense Forces against Palestine and its people, thousands are expected dead and missing. Including international observers, journalists, medics and other aid workers as well as civilains and even Palestine Authority Policemen.

People are dying in the streets. “April 5th at Al Razi hospital in Jenin, doctors and medics watched on helplessly as 28-year-old Nidal Al Haj bled to death inside the hospital yard. Dr. Ali Jabareen from the hospital explained how the medics waited for a long time, but they could get to him because of the shelling; (Source“ Mass graves are being built in Ramallah as they are refused access to carry out the burial of their dead. A claim denied by Israel Forces but footage has been placed in Indy media sites.

We called and screamed at the tops of our lungs, as our country needed international focus and intervention to gain peace. We have all experienced the tactics used by a lot of governments in stereotyping a conflict and its people as terrorists. To illustrate this look to how many young men and women have sufferred death and served long custodial sentences for crimes they did not commit yet the surrounding media had them guilty as charged because they identified them as belonging to or sympathising with ‘the enemy’.

The people of Palestine need international intervention and support not merely words. Actions need to accompany the strong words used by both Tony Blair and George Bush Jr. but without actions they mean nothing! The USA demands withdrawal immediately of Israel and then sends Secretary of State Colin Powell to the region although it will take five days to finally get to Palestine. While Sharon echos once again that he will finish the current operation in the West Bank and Gaza. In a token gesture IDF state they have withdrawen from two West Bank villages of Qalqilya and Tulkram however this is not the area where the main atrocites are occurring.

The people who are under seige at Arafat’s compound are stating that it is not Israeli tactics that are the most shocking to them, that they are used to - but rather it is the non action from the international community. The question has to be asked - How many international laws will Israel be permitted to break before action is taken. Media should be focusing on these legalities and not reinforcing Israels so called ‘war on terrorism’

The media have failed to focus on the indiscriminate brutality of the Israeli Defense Forces and instead prefer to deliver us pieces on how rebels in West Banks refugee camps are handing out explosives, no specific proof of these events. The attack of IDF on sacred religious sites gets little or no media focus even when video footage exists and as Robert Fisk explained earlier this week the SKY, BBC and CNN crews all used video footage provided by IDF to explain the events in Bethlehem. A truly objective piece of journalism?

When conflicts occur people look to the media in an attempt for awareness and understanding of the situation. There has been no coverage that could be described as good journalism in the mainstream media sectors. There are contacts available and numbers available to reach those in the region - why are the media not utilising these contacts to bring us the truth?

Those with access to the Internet have a greater chance of obtaining information. Don’t local journalists also have the same access? If as an individual contact to areas of West Bank and Gaza can be achieved I therefore ask journalism where is the truth. Where are the accounts of the continous tradegies that are currently carried out on the Palestinian people at the hands of a brutal occupying force?

Regardless of the disinformation delivered people are seeing for themselves the plight of the Palestinian people. They need our solidarity our understanding of their position as the strive for a right to self determination, a right of return for all those displaced, the cessation of the destruction of homes and farm land, no expansion to settlement villages built on Palestinian land and most of all the total and immediate end to Israeli occupation in accordance with UN resolutions.



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