A Ramallah protest got ugly yesterday when PA police started cracking skulls — including reporters. Maan News reports that several reporters were beaten up, had their cameras confiscated or destroyed, and that two journalists were even taken into custody.
One of the journalists beaten was Saed Hawari, a Reuters cameraman. Although the Washington Post picked up on the story, it’s strange that I haven’t seen Reuters mention the attack on their own photographer. Unless I missed something, the radio silence is a tremendous disservice — both to readers, and to Reuters itself.
Readers deserve to know the context that reporters work in. That’s a necessary degree of transparency which helps readers judge what’s happening in the world. An extreme case in point: Dutch reporters bailing out of a Gaza flotilla over untenable restrictions.
And the wire service’s Palestinian staff needs to know Reuters has their back covered. Push came to shove (literally) and stringers got radio silence. How will the news agency’s Palestinian staff look forward to the next protest?
The quiet doesn’t square with Big Media’s vociferous protests when we’re talking about Israeli measures.
The foreign press corps, for example, speaks out against press restrictions on Gaza and rightfully raises a hue and cry over unnecessary strip searches. And Reuters wasn’t shy to blame Israel when cameraman Fadel Shana filmed his own death.
Israel’s the only place in the Mideast where reporters can criticize the government and still renew their media credentials like nothing happened.
Is Reuters that cowed by the PA?