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Opinion: Western News Sources Aren’t Enough to Learn about Israel-Palestine

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at American chapter.

With the ongoing bombardment of Gaza and recent Hamas attacks on Israel, many college students find themselves searching for information on the Israel-Palestine conflict. However, in the digital age misinformation spreads intensely, especially on deeply divided issues with many powers at play. This conflict has been presented to young people specifically as ultra-complicated and requiring intense research. 

However, coming to a general understanding of the history and current events unfolding in Gaza is possible with diverse and accurate sources. According to FAIR, a national media watchdog group focused on unbiased journalism, journalists should be from a “diverse array” of identity backgrounds. FAIR outlines this in their Media Literacy Guide, which explains how to determine bias in a source. 

In this instance and with most issues, it is difficult to obtain completely unbiased news. Prevalent censorship in Israel by the military toward both Palestinian sources and Israeli outlets makes this task even more difficult. The Israeli-Palestinian led magazine +972 found in a freedom of information inquiry that in 2022 the Israeli military “blocked the publication” of 159 articles from Israeli media sources. On average, the military prevented information from being public three times a day. 

Palestinian voices have also been censored on social media platforms even prior to the current events. The Human Rights Watch found in an independent investigation that Facebook had suppressed content speaking out against human rights issues in Israel-Palestine.

Western media outlets have also been found to be biased against Palestine. A study at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology found through a quantitative and qualitative review that The New York Times was particularly biased against Palestinians during the First and Second Intifadas, or uprisings. Beyond bias within reporting, the study also cited a Canadian study that found that there was a lack of reporting on Palestinians altogether.Israeli-centric headlines were also found four times more than Palestinian-focused headlines. 

Through all of this there have been Palestinian and Israeli journalists working to show the reality of what is going on in Gaza and the ripple effects throughout the area. It is necessary to center these voices when learning about what is going on in Gaza now. Below are reputable journalists, photojournalists and outlets that are based out of Israel-Palestine.

  1. “+972” Magazine

This is an independent English language online magazine focusing on in-depth reporting “from the ground in Israel-Palestine.” The journalists at this outlet are both Israeli and Palestinian.

  1. Fadi Abu Shammalah 

Fadi is a Palestinian who lives in Gaza with his family. He serves as an outreach associate for the non-profit Just Vision, which works to “fill the media gap” in Israel-Palestine. In the past week Fadi has been published in the New York Times and featured on MSNBC.

  1. Orly Noy

Orly Noy is an Israeli journalist who has been featured in “The Guardian” and is regularly featured in “+972”. Noy has been discussing her perceived failures of the Israeli government in the past week.

  1. Mohammed Zaanoun

Mohammed Zaanoun is a Gaza-based photojournalist who has been consistently documenting what is happening in Gaza on Instagram. 

  1. Plestia Alaqad

Plestia is a Palestinian journalist based in Gaza who has been showing the experience of Palestinians in Gaza through Instagram updates since the war commenced. Her videos have been shared by NBC and BBC

  1. Motaz Azaiza

Motaz Azaiza is the Content Producer for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. He is currently documenting life in Gaza on his personal instagram. 

  1. Nidal al-Mughrabi

Nidal is based out of Gaza and has been consistently publishing updates on “Reuters” about what is happening.

  1. Oren Ziv

Oren Ziv is an Israeli reporter and photojournalist for “+972” magazine. He has been documenting the aftermath of the Hamas attacks for the past week. Ziv was one of the journalists allowed to go on a military tour with the IDF.

Jordyn Habib

American '24

Jordyn is a rising Senior at American University double majoring in CLEG and Arab World Studies. She writes about anything in terms of politics, DC news and history, as well as pop culture. She is currently serving as HCAU's President.