Canadian Journalists Fear Retaliation After Israel Open Letter

Toronto, ON- May 15  -  Thousands fill Nathan Phillips Squareas  the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) hold a demonstration against the Israel/Gaza Strip clashes.  Ontario tightens restrictions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto. May 15, 2021.        (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

While Israel launched strikes against Gaza last week after Palestinians protested planned evictions in Jerusalem, a group chat of journalists in Canada was lighting up with notifications. They were frustrated with Canadian media coverage that painted the strikes without context and with a glaring absence of Palestinian voices. Some in the group, which included several Muslim journalists, shared frustrating experiences of advocating for nuanced coverage of international issues in their newsrooms. Some asked for advice on how to approach their editors about concerns with coverage, or lack thereof, of what was really going on in the region. So they drafted an open letter. “‘The Middle East is complicated. We need to hear both sides. Everyone has a lot of emotions about this.’ [sic] These are just some of the excuses news editors have provided to Canadian journalists trying to cover the escalating violence against Palestinians,” the letter read. “The lack of nuanced Canadian media coverage of forced expulsions and indiscriminate airstrikes over the last three days, which have so far killed at least 137 Palestinians, including 36 children, has been disappointing.” At the time of publ

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