Last night’s edition of IBA’s Close Up featured a discussion on Israel’s image in the international media. In the studio were PR professional and ex-Government Press Office employee Jason Pearlman alongside the AP’s Jerusalem bureau chief Joe Federman, who happens to be the chair of the Foreign Press Association.
I respect Joe as someone who has always been prepared to appear on panel discussions for HonestReporting Missions, arguing the case for the foreign press in a friendly and civilized fashion. However, I really can’t agree with some of the statements he made on this show.
For example, he says that the Palestinians are really on the ball, supplying foreign journalists with reactions to stories that they don’t even know have happened yet. Come on Joe – doesn’t that tell you something?! Doesn’t that make you just a little bit suspicious as to the veracity of the story?
And as for complaints that he can’t just waltz into the Israeli Prime Minister’s residence for an interview with Bibi while he can with the Palestinian president. While admittedly, Bibi hasn’t exactly engaged with the foreign press, how many world leaders are at the beck and call of foreign journalists 24/7?
The 25 minute program also features interviews with former Israeli Ambassador to France, Danny Shek, journalist and author Melanie Phillips and Minister for Public Diplomacy Yuli Edelstein.
View it here in two parts: