NUJ calls for greater safety for journalists reporting on the Middle East conflict

  • 16 Oct 2023

Journalists covering the situation in the Middle East need to be able to do their job in safety, whether on the ground or back at home commenting on it.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

“Journalists covering the ongoing situation in the Middle East need to be able to do their job in safety, whether on the ground during the conflict or back at home commenting on it. It is vital they are free to be able to give balanced and fair accounts without fear from attack or harassment.

“Our deep condolences go out to the families and friends of journalists who have been killed so far. Much greater efforts need to be deployed to protect journalists in their critical work bearing witness and reporting on unfolding events.  It is also completely unacceptable that groups are prepared to intimidate journalists through comments on social media or by actions such as the throwing of red paint at the BBC’s London headquarters.

“Nor are the UK government’s repeated attempts to intervene in the BBC’s editorial and impartiality freedoms acceptable or necessary. Broadcast journalists need to use careful language to show they are reporting impartially, for their own safety and in adherence to editorial guidelines and frameworks governing impartiality.

“The NUJ has also called on the UN to intervene to create safer conditions for all journalists covering this conflict. We will continue to work with the International Federation of Journalists and our Palestinian sister union to ensure those on the ground in Gaza are made as safe as is possible, including through the provision of emergency medical kits and safety equipment.”

Since the beginning of the hostilities on 7 October, at least ten Palestinian journalists have been killed in Gaza, one photojournalist in southern Israel and one video journalist in southern Lebanon.  

The IFJ has published this Safety Advisory for journalists covering the war
in English and Arabic.

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