Media Watchdog: Punish Journalists from Shiloach Rock Ambush
Media monitoring group says video of incident shows press were 'an active part' of the event and wants their press cards suspended.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 10/10/2010, 7:36 PM / Last Update: 10/10/2010, 7:39 PM
A media watchdog group has asked the Government Press Office to suspend the press cards of reporters and cameramen who were present at the ambushing of a Jewish man and his son at Shiloach (Silwan) in Jerusalem Friday.
Tadmit, the Center for Strengthening Democracy in Israel Media, contacted GPO Head Daniel Seaman Sunday and demanded that he take immediate action against the journalists who were present at the violent event.
The NGO also wrote the Press Council and demanded that it launch an inquiry into the behavior of the journalists. It noted that the Council's Code of Ethics specifies that “the moral and legal obligation... to give assistance to a person who is in grave and immediate danger of losing life or limb, also applies to a journalist during his journalistic activity.”
Tadmit's director, Chani Luz, said that the event was staged. “This was not coverage of an event that took place,” she said, “but an invitation to journalists to record a violent life-threatening event that was planned in advance.”
"It can clearly be seen that the boys and youths covered their faces with their shirts and stood with a stockpile of rocks... in order to hit passing motorists,” Luz added. “A journalist's participation in a violent event borders on the criminal and needs to be investigated by the Israel Police.”
A lawyer for Tadmit, Adrian Aggasi, noted in a letter attached to the complaints that one of the journalists present was Meged Gozani, a photographer for Israeli website 'Walla,' and that the Al Jazeera channel also screened video footage it apparently shot. Aggasi asked the GPO to find out the identities of the other journalists who were present.