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« 'I'm Unconvinced By Every Term I Draw On In My Reporting' | Main | Countering Canadian Campus Media Bias Against Israel »

Thursday, February 11 2010

5 Questions on Vote Rigging at Palestinian Journo Union

The PA hijacked recent elections held by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate to ensure key positions for Fatah cronies.

Ramallah journo Hani al-Masri told the Jerusalem Post  :

About 300 “journalists” who participated in the election had nothing to do with journalism, he said. “Some of them were members of the Palestinian security forces, while most of the journalists who were registered as members of the syndicate’s generals assembly were actually employees of the Palestinian Authority or political activists,” he added.

The Maan News Agency further adds:

Another scandalous flaw blemishing the new Union is the so-called quota system which means that the union seats are divided among PLO factions in accordance with an anachronistic system dating back to the early 1980s.

Pursuant to this system, Fatah receives the lion’s share of the seats, followed by the PFLP and its former ideological sister, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), followed by a myriad of small factions, most of which have few followers and supporters on the ground.

Hamas and the Islamic Jihad are totally unrepresented in the new body and the same applies to dozens, if not hundreds, of independent journalists.

This raises an awful lot of questions. Here are five off the top of my head.

  1. Are any of these 300 on the payroll of news services we should know about?

  2. Is this ammo for Israeli restrictions on Palestinian journalists?

  3. What do Ethan Bronner's critics have to say about this?

  4. In light of yesterday's post about Hamas and press freedom, is Fatah's attitude is any better?

  5. How independent are these reporters when they're so clearly beholden to groups like Fatah, Hamas, the PFLP, etc.?

UPDATE Feb. 11: The Media Line raises a related issue which I'll phrase as question number 6. Is it any wonder that Fahmi Shabaneh, who recently blew the whistle on PA corruption, turned to the Israeli media?



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