WASHINGTON, Nov. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Following is a statement from Eileen O’Reilly, president of the National Press Club, and Gil Klein, president of the National Press Club Journalism Institute, on the disturbing rise of violent rhetoric and other threats against journalists involved in coverage of the Israel-Hamas war.
“We strongly condemn the rise in hateful rhetoric, threats and calls for violence against journalists.
“Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, there have been numerous journalists, both Israeli and Palestinian, Jewish and Muslim, who have received threats. Some of these have been specific to reporters, such as Youmna ElSayed, an Al Jazeera correspondent in Gaza who says she received a threatening phone call warning her and her family to leave their home, and Muslim Canadian reporter Saba Eitizaz, who has received numerous attacks including threats of physical violence.
“Other verbal attacks have been more broad, such as a U.C. Davis assistant professor who posted on the social media site X that there is ‘easy access’ to ‘all these zionist journalists,’ implying they could be targeted in their homes or through their children’s schools. She wrote ‘they can fear their bosses, but they should fear us more’ followed by five emojis: a knife, a hatchet and three drops of blood.
“Journalism is not a crime. Reporters have critical roles to play in explaining what is happening in war zones, covering the policy debates around it as well as detailing the many complexities and heartbreaking stories. We urge relevant authorities to take these threats seriously, to investigate them fully, and to act when necessary to ensure the safety of all journalists.”
Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. The Club has 3,000 members representing nearly every major news organization and is a leading voice for press freedom in the United States and around the world.
The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged, global citizenry through an independent and free press and equips journalists with the skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire a more representative democracy. The NPCJI is the nonprofit affiliate of the National Press Club.
Contact: Bill McCarren, 202662-7534 for the National Press Club
SOURCE National Press Club