The following excerpts are from Matti Friedman, a journalist who worked for the Associated Press in Jerusalem. For context, the IDF just destroyed a building in Gaza occupied by the Associated Press, Al-Jazeera (funded by Qatar who also funds Hamas), and according to intelligence, Hamas militants.
Their Journalists Can't Critically Report Hamas And Palestinians
"I was informed by the bureau’s senior editors that our Palestinian reporter in Gaza couldn’t possibly provide critical coverage of Hamas because doing so would put him in danger."
"Hamas understood that reporters could be intimidated when necessary and that they would not report the intimidation."
Hamas Threatens AP Staff
Armed militants would enter the Associated Press office in Gaza and criticize reporting. If Associated Press had journalistic integrity, their Gaza reporting would inform readers that their journalists cannot critically report on the militants.
"Hamas fighters would burst into the AP’s Gaza bureau and threaten the staff—and the AP wouldn’t report it."
Journalists Spin Stories For Hamas
"Cameramen waiting outside Shifa Hospital in Gaza City would film the arrival of civilian casualties and then, at a signal from an official, turn off their cameras when wounded and dead fighters came in, helping Hamas maintain the illusion that only civilians were dying."
Journalists Publicize Hamas Propaganda As Fact
"Hamas understood that journalists would not only accept as fact the Hamas-reported civilian death toll—relayed through the UN or through something called the “Gaza Health Ministry,” an office controlled by Hamas—but would make those numbers the center of coverage."
"We understood that our job was not to look critically at the UN report [(narrative-confirming information)], or any such document, but to publicize it."
The Journalists Are Committed To Activism, Not Truth
"Since assuming power in Gaza in 2007, the Islamic Resistance Movement has come to understand that many reporters are committed to a narrative wherein Israelis are oppressors and Palestinians passive victims with reasonable goals, and are uninterested in contradictory information."
Hamas's Narrative Depends On Compromised Journalists
"Hamas’s strategy is to provoke a response from Israel by attacking from behind the cover of Palestinian civilians, thus drawing Israeli strikes that kill those civilians, and then to have the casualties filmed by one of the world’s largest press contingents, with the understanding that the resulting outrage abroad will blunt Israel’s response.
It is predicated on the cooperation of journalists."
Not Complying Could Mean Arrest and Torture
According to the Human Rights Watch, Hamas authorities in Gaza regularly arrest and torture dissidents. They interviewed 147 witnesses and found that these methods of stifling dissent are systematic.
"Any press organization operating in a dictatorship is going to be compromised, and will further compromise itself to conceal how it has been compromised. It’s not a new story, or one limited to the AP, or to Gaza." - Matti Friedman
Sources: Matti Friedman, The Atlantic
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.