Media groups urge Israel to open access to Gaza

Palestinian Journalist Sami Shehada, whose leg was amputated following his injury while covering events of Israel's military offensive in Nuseirat in April 2024, resumes covering events for Turkish state broadcaster TRT, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza Strip May 13, 2024. (Photo: Reuters/Doaa Rouga)
Palestinian Journalist Sami Shehada, whose leg was amputated following an Israel-Gaza war injury, resumes covering events for Turkish state broadcaster TRT in in central Gaza on May 13, 2024. (Photo: Reuters/Doaa Rouga)

More than 60 media and civil society organizations have signed an open letter on July 11 urging Israel to give journalists independent access to Gaza.

The organizations—which include the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, BBC, CNN, The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Washington Post—point out that no independent media access to Gaza has been permitted since the start of the war, increasing the pressure on domestic journalists, and creating a space for mis- and disinformation to flourish.

More than 100 journalists have been killed since the start of the war and those who remain are working in conditions of extreme deprivation. The result is that information from Gaza is becoming harder and harder to obtain and that the reporting which does get through is subject to repeated questions over its veracity,” the organizations say in the letter, which was coordinated by the Committee to Protect Journalists. The letter comes ahead of a planned visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the United States.

Full coverage of the Israel-Gaza war

John Oliver to host CPJ press freedom awards event
Jessica E. Lessin, 2024 International Press Freedom Awards chair, and John Oliver, host. (Photos: courtesy of The Information; John Oliver)
Jessica E. Lessin, 2024 International Press Freedom Awards chair, and John Oliver, host. (Photos: courtesy of The Information; John Oliver)

The Committee to Protect Journalists has announced that its 2024 International Press Freedom Awards will be hosted in New York City by comedian John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and chaired by Jessica E. Lessin, founder and CEO of the tech-focused publication The Information.

“I’m delighted to join the Committee to Protect Journalists on the biggest night for press freedom, to champion journalists during harrowing times for democracy, as they are threatened or taken for granted,” said Oliver.   

Now in its 34th year, CPJ’s annual awards and benefit dinner will celebrate four courageous journalists around the world on November 21 along with the winner of the annual Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award in recognition of extraordinary commitment to media freedom..

See CPJ’s 2023 IPFA winners here.


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Journalists Attacked

Myat Thu Tan

MURDERED

Myat Thu Tan, a contributor to the local news website Western News and correspondent for several independent Myanmar news outlets, was shot and killed on January 31, 2024, while in military custody in Mrauk-U in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State.

He was arrested on September 22, 2022, and held in pre-trial detention under a broad provision of the penal code that criminalizes incitement and the dissemination of false news for critical posts he made on his Facebook page. Myat Thu Tan had not been tried or convicted at the time of his death.

The journalist’s body was found buried in a bomb shelter, with the bodies of six other political detainees, and showed signs of torture.

Myanmar’s military junta has cracked down on journalists and media outlets since seizing power in a February 2021 coup.

In at least 8 out of 10 cases, the murderers of journalists go free. CPJ is waging a global campaign against impunity.

journalists killed in 2024 (motive confirmed)
imprisoned in 2023
missing globally