CNN runs Gaza coverage past bureau operating under shadow of IDF censor

CNN runs Gaza coverage past bureau operating under shadow of IDF censor

The Jerusalem bureau (located in Israel) has long reviewed all CNN stories relating to Israel and Palestine. Now, it’s helping shape the network’s coverage of the war.

By Daniel Boguslaw, The Intercept

WHETHER REPORTING FROM the Middle East, the United States, or anywhere else across the globe, every CNN journalist covering Israel and Palestine must submit their work for review by the news organization’s bureau in Jerusalem prior to publication, under a long-standing CNN policy. While CNN says the policy is meant to ensure accuracy in reporting on a polarizing subject, it means that much of the network’s recent coverage of the war in Gaza — and its reverberations around the world — has been shaped by journalists who operate under the shadow of the country’s military censor.

Like all foreign news organizations operating in Israel, CNN’s Jerusalem bureau is subject to the rules of the Israel Defense Forces’s censor, which dictates subjects that are off-limits for news organizations to cover, and censors articles it deems unfit or unsafe to print. As The Intercept reported last month, the military censor recently restricted eight subjects, including security cabinet meetings, information about hostages, and reporting on weapons captured by fighters in Gaza. In order to obtain a press pass in Israel, foreign reporters must sign a document agreeing to abide by the dictates of the censor…

One member of CNN’s staff who spoke to The Intercept on the condition of anonymity for fear of professional reprisal said that the internal review policy has had a demonstrable impact on coverage of the Gaza war. “Every single Israel-Palestine-related line for reporting must seek approval from the [Jerusalem] bureau — or, when the bureau is not staffed, from a select few handpicked by the bureau and senior management — from which lines are most often edited with a very specific nuance” that favors Israeli narratives…

CNN’s team in Jerusalem are the “people closest to the Israeli government,”…

In October, CNN hired a former IDF soldier to contribute writing and reporting to CNN’s war coverage. Tamar Michaelis… Read more

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