Arab Today, arab today no press freedom in gaza
Last Updated : GMT 12:02:44
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Reham Abdel-Karim to AT

No press freedom in Gaza

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today No press freedom in Gaza

Gaza - Mohammad Habib

Reham Abdel-Karim, director of the office of the Alarabiya-MBC TV in Gaza Strip said that the press is majorly restricted by the government and that Gaza was currently besieged by the ruling party Hamas as well as the government. Abdel-Karim revealed in an interview with 'Arabstoday' that she prefers writing and working on human stories on a personal level, considering it much easier that working on political and security reports which face strict control and are reviewed by the government. Abdel-Karim explained that the staff of "Al-Arabiya" in Gaza face great challenges due to the differences between Al-Arabiya TV and Hamas, with the party accusing the channel of lacking objectivity and trying to defame the movement. The journalist stated that she has been questioned by the deposed government (Hamas) saying: "We received a lot of calls and threats. They (Hamas) tried various methods, including diplomacy and the threat of direct action." Reham said: "Al-Arabiya is a totally objective news channel in the Strip, yet, the deposed government is not satisfied with the channel's coverage and it boycotted the channel and refused to have any talks through it." The journalist quipped that objectivity, according to the government, meant prejudice to Hamas, pointing that the channel exerted a lot of efforts to contact the government, which ended futile. "There is a large blackout and secrecy on many stories in Gaza...we cannot report on many, directly or indirectly", added Reham. Regarding her career in, the journalist said that her start in television was not that easy, facing the screen was very difficult for her and she spent a long time and exerted too much effort for preparing the first report, however her lucky break was when she got a chance to work in MBC. "My experience comes from my belief in the necessity of maintaining objectivity, professionalism and credibility in reporting", Abdel-Karim continued, saying she has been offered work abroad, but she prefers to stay and serve the Palestinian issue which needs every sincere effort. The journalist said that since Gaza was in the international spotlight, it prompted many outsiders to join the media, stating that even the taxi driver and the greengrocer became journalists, which weakened the media sector. Concerning the reconciliation issue between Hamas and Fatah, the journalist said: "Both parties use media as a means of transferring their lies...Hamas is the best in using media to serve its purposes, even before Fatah...he who realises the importance of media and is the best at using it, is the one who fears it most." The Palestinian also called for intensifying efforts to pave the way for media personnel to do their best work while maintaining their rights guaranteed by international and humanitarian charters. She also hoped that journalists would stop being abused, whether in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. Moreover, Reham warned of the continued influence on public opinion through partisan and non-partisan media, and called for facilitating the work of journalists to do their part in revealing the truth.  

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