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Opinion

Media reports filed under the sway of terrorists can't be trusted

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Israel,Media,Charles Hoskinson,Gaza,Hamas

Dead reporters don't file stories.

This sad fact is important to keep in mind when consuming news reports from war zones. Because when personal safety is an issue, news organizations — and the journalists they employ — sometimes compromise the integrity of their product to maintain access and stay alive.

They also routinely keep quiet about those compromises, until after the fact. That's why what isn't reported about a conflict is often at least as important as what is.

This is especially true in places such as Gaza, where one of the belligerents is Hamas, a terrorist organization with a documented history of using violence to intimidate journalists away from reporting information that might cast its actions in a bad light.

Italian freelance journalist Gabriele Barbati tweeted that a blast which killed 10 people, including eight children, on Monday was the result of a Hamas rocket which misfired and not an Israeli strike, as was widely reported by news organizations sympathetic to Hamas.



And Barbati's tweet was not the only recent evidence of Hamas intimidation. The Legal Insurrection blog compiled several other examples, including a tweet about Hamas leaders using the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza for media interviews deleted by a Wall Street Journal reporter after threats against him were posted on Twitter, and an article in the French newspaper Liberation that was deleted at the author's request.

It's something to keep in mind the next time someone tries to report Hamas propaganda masquerading as news — even if it seems like a legitimate news organization.

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