Robert Mackey has an interesting post at the NYT’s blog The Lede on the differing PR techniques used online by the IDF.

Elsewhere, in a recycled piece from 2006, Scout Tufankjian writes in Slate about working as a photographer in a land under siege. Interesting stuff.

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I refuse to take a side in the conflict currently boiling over once more in Israel. There are too many chauvinists, revanchists, and fools on each side of the line to make any kind of objective judgement.

I will only say this, as a card-carrying member of the Industry:

Let journalists do their damn job.

There can be no peace without understanding, and no understanding without dialogue. And we can’t have a rational dialogue if we don’t have the right information, if we don’t know the right questions to ask.

There are a few brave souls in the Industry who are willing to be blown to bits in any corner of the world, just to make sure Bobbie in Boston and Pierre in Paris get the facts – which they can then rant about on their blogs.

When you systematically suppress their ability to do so, we have a problem.

 

UPDATE: Kevin posted this article in the comments, and I think it deserves a full read.

We should of course remember that issues of free speech, and flow of information in the Territories, are as tedious, complex and distressing as any other part of the protracted conflict in that region.

And as Kevin points out, for decades much of the war has been waged in the media, which Israel can certainly not ignore.

But there is simply no excuse – zero – for this:

Israel first imposed the ban on reporters going to Gaza on Nov. 4 when its military broke the cease-fire with Hamas by sending forces in to destroy a tunnel. Since then, Israel has opened the border for reporters for only a few days.

Israeli officials argue that the closure is meant to protect its staff at the border crossing from being exposed to unnecessary risks of rocket fire. But that argument holds little weight because the Israeli workers have been routinely staffing the border crossing to allow UN officials and Palestinians in need of emergency care in-and-out of Israel.

Today, the FPA issued a a new statement of protest, calling the Israeli ban “unprecedented.”

“Never before have journalists been prevented from doing their work in this way,” the FPA said in the statement. “We believe that it is vital that journalists be allowed to find out for themselves what is going on in Gaza.”