By Loushe Jordaan Gilbert
Conveners of the Free Palestine Worcester Campaign was left with a bitter taste in their mouth after a journalist working at the Worcester Standard, a local newspaper, promised to cover their pro-Palestinian march this Saturday, but within minutes said their editorial policy prohibits her from doing so.
Speaking to VOC News on Friday, Humaira Abbas, Co-Director of the Free Palestine Worcester Campaign said the journalist who will remain anonymous, reached out to their team on Tuesday eager to cover the event, but on the same day said she could not follow through on her commitment.
“A member of our community said she would contact a journalist at the Worster Standard, which she did. The journalist made contact and still wanted a poster to show to her editor, but to us this was confirmed because she said she would be there this Saturday,” she said.
Abass said to their disappointment, the journalist messaged them stating their editorial policy does not allow her to cover the story.
A screenshot of the message sent to Abass by the Journalist read as followed.
“I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to inform you of a decision made by our editorial team regarding the coverage of the Free Palestine interview. After careful consideration, we have decided to not proceed with the coverage of this interview at this time. I want to express my sincere gratitude for your willingness to participate and share your perspective. Please understand that this decision is not a reflection of the importance of the issue or the value of your insights. Rather, it is based on our current editorial considerations.”
When VOC News contacted the journalist in question, we were told to email Lise Beyers, Editor and Writer at Paarl Post – Media24, who explained that the Journalist who an intern and unaware of their policy.
“Unfortunately, there were a few lines crossed here as the journalist is an intern, unaware of our editorial policies– but the long and the short of it is that we cover uber-local news from our distribution area also as to events which directly affect most of our readership. We will not carry news from beyond our borders. Our space is very limited as well, so I must be very selective with what we feature.”