Journalists trapped inside Gaza continue reporting the news despite ground, sea and air assaults, regular communications blackouts, power outages, and supply shortages. And despite the deaths of so many of their colleagues.
Getting practical assistance into Gaza to support the hundreds of thousands of civilians suffering as a result of the conflict between Israel and Hamas is a major challenge; despite a trickle of humanitarian aid having reached a small proportion of those in need over recent moments of ceasefire, the territory remains closed off. Remaining supplies are reaching the point of exhaustion and the basic necessities, including safe drinking water, are almost impossible to source.
The collapse of infrastructure and support systems as a result of Israel’s deliberate efforts to seal off the territory means getting supplies or money in to assist journalists and media organisations in Gaza is virtually impossible. This has been further complicated by the decision of several European countries and the European Commission to suspend aid to both Israeli and Palestinian civil society organisations. Practically, this means existing pipelines of support to the media sector have also been cut off.
A number of WAN-IFRA members have reached out to ask what they can do to support colleagues in Gaza. For those of you able to do so, and despite the practical challenges of delivering assistance, there are some initiatives aimed at directly supporting journalists and their families wherever possible. There is also the WAN-IFRA ‘We the Media’ fund, our own emergency support fund designed to assist media wherever press freedom is challenged.
Food, clothes, blankets and other utilities for journalists and their families
Safety equipment and gear for journalists, such as press vests, helmets, cell phones and cameras.
Psychosocial support for journalists
Ongoing support to keep as many media outlets as possible operating.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), representing 187 journalist unions and associations around the world, is asking for donations to its International Safety Fund on behalf of the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate – a union representing around 80% of journalists. IFJ will pass donations directly to the PJS to fund further aid. Tents and sleeping equipment are an immediate priority, and the IFJ is working with UNESCO to find ways to transport such goods through the Rafah border crossing.
WAN-IFRA partnered with the IFJ to send financial assistance via its International Safety Fund to colleagues in Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover in August 2021.
WAN-IFRA’s ‘We, the Media’ fund was launched in response to the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban in 2021. It has since gone on to act as a conduit for ongoing financial support to colleagues in Ukraine via WAN-IFRA member associations in the country. Overall, the fund has channelled over €350,000 to journalists and media organisations in need thanks to donations and contributions from WAN-IFRA members.
We commit to distributing all funds received according to urgent needs identified through our Media Freedom programmes, or alternatively by following instructions from those who wish their donations to be used for specific purposes. While the current situation does not allow us to transfer money to Palestine, all funds received for this purpose will eventually be distributed by whatever safe and accountable means we can secure.