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Events

War Reporting: the Case of Gaza and Israel

General Programming

dateApril 15, 2024 timeMonday, 6:00pm EDT location Pulitzer Hall (Journalism School), Columbia University
Cosponsors
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Columbia Global Centers | Paris
  • Le Monde
  • Middle East Institute
Organizers
  • Columbia Maison Française
  • Columbia Journalism School
Contact
email address [email protected]
Notes
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required.
War Reporting text and cave

After Hamas led deadly attacks in Israel on October 7, killing at least 1200 people and capturing hundreds of hostages, Israel has been conducting intense bombing and ground campaigns in Gaza, killing more than 32,000 people and wounding tens of thousands more.The war and the humanitarian crisis in the besieged enclave have been convulsing the region and the world.

Reporting on the war has been especially difficult in Gaza, where Israel has blocked access for reporters is extremely limited and Israeli attacks have killed at least dozens of journalists. In February, more than 30 news organizations signed an open letter urging the protection of journalists working in Gaza and their freedom to report. In 2023, The Committee to Protect Journalists estimated that more than three-quarters of the journalists and media workers killed worldwide died in the current war in Gaza. “Journalists in Gaza are facing exponential risk,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, “But their colleagues in the West Bank and Israel are also facing unprecedented threats, assaults, and intimidation to obstruct their vital work covering this conflict.”

War reporters put their safety at risk to preserve access to information, to document stories not told by official parties, and to keep track of facts when information gets blurred by the chaos on the ground. Journalists like Gideon Levy and Gilles Paris, analyzing and interpreting the news from conflict zones for international audiences, play an essential role that relies on media workers on the ground. The work of local journalists like Ameera Harouda, who can also serve as interpreters, put foreign journalists in contact with sources, and guide them through their interviews, are essential during wartime. Visual journalists like Tanja Habjouqa play an essential role as visual witnesses, documenting and shaping perceptions of events on the ground, whether they work for established media outlets or through social media.

This panel discussion will explore the obstacles encountered by journalists in conflict zones, using the example of Gaza, who bear witness to the rest of the world.

Speakers

Tanya Habjouqa (Jordan/USA), is an award-winning visual journalist, artist, and educator with a track record of narrative innovation and a reputation for creating dynamic creative work grounded in ethical practice and collaboration. Her work focuses on gender, representations of otherness, dispossession, resettlement, and human rights. Habjouqa has become a leading voice in the advancement of new documentary practices that seek to reframe news and politics through a more nuanced, culturally literate lens. She is the author of Occupied Pleasures (2015), a founding member of Rawiya, the first all-female photography collective from the Middle East, and a mentor for the Arab Documentary Photography Program. Her work is in the collections of MFA Boston, Institut du Monde Arab, and Carnegie Museum of Art. A Nikon Europe Ambassador, she is a winner of the 2014 World Press Photo.

Ameera Harouda is a pioneering woman fixer for news organizations in Gaza, Palestine, dedicated to reporting on the region for nearly two decades. Harouda has collaborated with leading media organizations from the U.S., Europe, and Australia, such as the New York Times, CNN, Al Jazeera English, Sky News, ARD, The Washington Post, Newsweek, The Guardian, and ABC Australia. Harouda was working on the ground in Gaza in the early phase of the current war, and she had to face the challenging decision as a journalist, mother of four, wife, and Palestinian — to leave Gaza. She is currently residing in Qatar, where she continues her reporting work.

Dalia Hatuqa is an award-winning multimedia journalist specializing in Israeli/Palestinian affairs, and regional Middle East issues. She is a fluent Arabic speaker. Since 2000, she has divided her time between the U.S. and the West Bank, covering a range of political, economic and cultural issues for print, TV and radio. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, Time, The NYRB, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic and elsewhere, and her radio stories and commentary have aired on NPR, PRX, the BBC and Monocle 24. Before moving back to Israel/Palestine in 2011, Dalia worked with Al Jazeera in Washington, D.C., for four years, producing its flagship current affairs talk show, "From Washington," which included setting up and conducting interviews with high-level politicians, community leaders and notable cultural icons.

Gideon Levy is an Israeli journalist and author. He writes opinion pieces and a weekly column for the newspaper Haaretz. Levy's writing has earned him numerous awards, including the Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award in 1996 from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the Anna Lindh Foundation Journalism Award in 2008, and the Peace Through Media Award in 2012. In 2021, Levy was awarded Israel's top journalism award, the Sokolow Prize. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has called him “a powerful liberal voice.” In his review of Levy's book, The Punishment of Gaza, journalist and literary critic Nicholas Lezard called him “an Israeli dedicated to saving his country's honour.” “He may be [one of] the most famous and the most invited journalists in Israel,” wrote Israeli journalist Ben-Dror Yemini. In its citation for the Sokolow Prize, the selection committee wrote that Levy “presents original and independent positions that do not surrender to convention or social codes, and in doing so enriches the public discourse fearlessly.”

Gilles Paris is an editorialist and foreign affairs columnist for Le Monde. He was involved in the creation of Le Monde in English on his return from Washington, where he was a correspondent from 2014 to 2021. Previously, he headed Le Monde's international service after reporting from the Middle East for more than ten years, including as a correspondent in Jerusalem during the second Intifada.

David Remnick has been the editor of The New Yorker since 1998 and a staff writer since 1992. He also hosts “The New Yorker Radio Hour.” He has written hundreds of pieces for the magazine, including reporting from Russia, the Middle East, and Europe, and numerous Profiles of public figures, including Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu. Under Remnick’s leadership, The New Yorker has become the country’s most-honored magazine, winning more than fifty National Magazine Awards and six Pulitzers during his tenure. Remnick has also written seven books, including Lenin’s Tomb; Resurrection: The Struggle for a New Russia; and The Bridge (a biography of Barack Obama); and he has edited or co-edited many anthologies of New Yorker articles. Remnick has taught at Princeton University and at Columbia University.

Event co-sponsored by the Columbia Maison Française and Columbia Journalism School, the Middle East Institute, the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, and by Columbia Global Centers | Paris, in partnership with Le Monde.

Journalism and Crisis: April 15-17, 2024

This event is presented as part of a series of events on Journalism and Crisis that facilitates discussions about some of the most critical questions facing journalists and journalism today, particularly in an international context. The Columbia Global Paris Center, Le Monde, and the Columbia Maison Française, invite you to these vital conversations, held in New York City from April 15 to 17, 2024. The full program of events is listed here.

Columbia Global brings together major global initiatives from across the university to advance knowledge and foster global engagement. Our mission is to address complex global challenges through groundbreaking scholarly pursuits, leadership development, cutting-edge research, and projects that aim for social impact. Our long-term goal is to reimagine the university’s role in society as not only a nexus for learning and intellectual exploration but also as a catalyst for creativity and impact locally, regionally, and globally. It is the umbrella entity for Columbia World Projects, Columbia Global Centers, the Institute for Ideas and Imagination, and the Committee on Global Thought.

Le Monde is France’s leading newspaper. It has provided news coverage, unique perspectives and in-depth analysis to francophone readers all around the world since 1944. Le Monde in English, founded in 2022, brings the best of our award-winning journalism from France, Europe and all around the world, to anglophones.

For more than a century, the Columbia Maison Française has been a leader in fostering intellectual and cultural exchange between the United States and France, Europe, and the French-speaking world.