American TV network CNN (Cable News Network) has admitted that it follows a protocol that could give Israeli censors influence over its stories about Israel and Palestine.
A spokesperson for the network confirmed to The Intercept that its news coverage about Israel and Palestine is run through and reviewed by the CNN Jerusalem bureau—which is subject to the IDF’s censor.
CNN’s Jerusalem bureau is subject to the rules of the Israel Defense Forces’s censor, which dictates subjects that are off-limits for news organizations to cover, and censors articles it deems unfit or unsafe to print.
Other news organizations often avoid the censor by reporting certain stories about the region through their news desks outside of Israel, The Intercept reported.
CNN has been under fire for a long period for its reporting on Israel and Palestine that allegedly misses the plight of Palestinians under the illegal occupation.
Intercept quoted a CNN staffer who claimed that every single Israel-Palestine-related line for reporting must seek approval from the Jerusalem bureau.
“‘War-crime’ and ‘genocide’ are taboo words. Israeli bombings in Gaza will be reported as ‘blasts’ attributed to nobody, until the Israeli military weighs in to either accept or deny responsibility. Quotes and information provided by Israeli army and government officials tend to be approved quickly, while those from Palestinians tend to be heavily scrutinized and slowly processed.”
“The policy of running stories about Israel or the Palestinians past the Jerusalem bureau has been in place for years,” the spokesperson told the outlet.
last month, the military censor recently restricted eight subjects, including security cabinet meetings, information about hostages, and reporting on weapons captured by fighters in Gaza.
To obtain a press pass in Israel, foreign reporters must sign a document agreeing to abide by the dictates of the censor.
Jim Naureckas, editor of the watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, noted that the Israeli government is controlling journalists’ reporting on Gaza as it’s been “credibly accused of singling out journalists for violent attacks in order to suppress information.”