Hundreds of journalists have gathered in Istanbul this week to participate in the second Palestine Media Forum to discuss the media’s role in reporting on the Palestinian issue. The conference is being held over a two day period which marks the 100 year anniversary since the Sykes-Picot agreement also known as the Asia Minor agreement that divided up the Middle East following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.
The agreement resulted in Palestine being handed over to the British and later handed over to a new government that created the state of Israel in 1948.
The opening ceremony got off to a powerful start with journalists from Egypt, Japan and the Minister of Communications from Morocco speaking about why it is important to continue to report on the Palestinian issue, which highlights the struggle faced by those in Palestine and in the Diaspora, who continue to fight for the right to return to their homeland.
“Many Palestinian journalists are also being honoured at the opening ceremony to emphasize their hard work in informing people on the true nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” reported VOC journalist Umarah Hartley, who is attending the conference.
“One of them is well known South African media commentator Iqbal Jassat from the Media Review Network for his contribution to Palestine within the media space.”
Since 1996, Jassat – through MRN – has been bravely writing about Palestine, the intifada and the resistance at a time when these were dirty words in a South African media landscape largely still controlled by apologists for Apartheid South Africa, and aligned to the Israeli regime.
The opening session will delve into unveiling Zionist myths, which will be followed by workshops in which journalists can participate in to fully understand how to report on issues concerning Palestine.
Amongst the speakers and delegates are Palestinian academic Ramzy Baroud; Arab thinker Munir Shafiq; Anas al Tikriti, the chairman of the Cordoba Foundation and political analyst Abdullah Abu Awad.
The forum’s speakers have said that social media has played an important role in getting live reports out to the masses in the shortest amount of time so that the world can be exposed to human rights violations that are not only occurring in Palestine, but around the world as well.
A delegation of South African journalists and activists from Radio Islam, Salaamedia and the Media Review Network are in attendance.
VOC (Umarah Hartley)