Statement on protecting journalists in Gaza and Israel

December 11, 2023

The gravity of the situation demands immediate attention.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has reported an alarming toll: at least 63 journalists and media workers have lost their lives since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7. Shockingly, the first month of this conflict marked the deadliest month for journalists recorded by CPJ in its over 30-year history of documenting such violence.

In times of war, journalists play a critical role in uncovering and highlighting facts, holding those in power accountable and narrating untold stories with unwavering integrity. Journalists and media professionals are granted specific protection under United Nations Resolution 1738 in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.

Without journalists on the ground during a conflict, atrocities and suffering are shrouded in darkness.

We urge all authorities — whether from Israel, Gaza or the broader international community — to guarantee the safety and freedom of expression for journalists caught in the crossfire of this conflict. We emphasize that the safety and unimpeded work of journalists and other media workers are not negotiable, but rather fundamental to achieving peace and justice in the region.

We recognize that the acute violence against journalists in the Middle East is part of a global rise of attacks on and intimidation of journalists and fact-finders.

We call for swift and decisive action to protect the lives and freedoms of journalists and media workers.

Sincerely,

Members of the Berkeley Journalism* community, including:

David Barstow
Jennifer Redfearn
Jeremy Rue
Emma Cott
Richard Koci Hernandez
Adam Hochschild
Ken Light
Geeta Anand
Gisela Pérez de Acha
Jennifer LaFleur
Yoli Martinez
Alexa Koenig
Elena Conis
Joanne Derbort
Shereen Marisol Meraji
Lia Swindle
Steven Katz
Christa Scharfenberg
Charlotte Hryse
Christine Schiavo
Andrea Lampros
Mallory Newman
Rick Johnson
Betsy Rate
Amy Utstein
Anh Tran
Edward Wong

*Affiliation with Berkeley Journalism is for identification purposes only. To sign on to this letter, email alampros@berkeley.edu.

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