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Thursday, July 6 2006

Sword Still Mightier Than Pen

MightierAccording to USA Today, Palestinian journalists probably receive more terror threats than the Israeli security services, with predictable results:

Four of Arabeed's 32 staff members quit after receiving threats by phone or e-mail, he says. As many as 70 death threats a day filled Arabeed's own voice mail. So in early May, he directed his staff to suspend its news coverage.

Arabeed says he appealed to the Hamas government for protection but received no response. By June 1, al-Hurriya's news reports were back on air, but with a significant change: It now omits any reference to Hamas. For example, if the Hamas government issues a decree or meets with foreign officials, al-Hurriya will not report about it. The station's workers believe they are less likely to anger Hamas if they don't report on it.

Is the intimidation affecting Western news services as well? Consider the heavy reliance on Palestinian stringers. Read more about the Palestinian media dumbing down its coverage here and here.



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