LA Times bans journalists from covering war who signed letter condemning ‘Israel’s murder of journalists’

The Los Angeles Times has banned more than three dozen reporters and editors from covering the war in Gaza after they signed an open letter condemning Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 massacre, according to a report.

The letter sent on November 9 criticized Israel for killing journalists and asked newsrooms to refer to Israel’s military response as a “genocide.” Semafor reported Thursday.

“The newspaper’s management has told the employees who signed the letter that they will not be allowed to cover the conflict in any way for at least three months,” the outlet reported, citing anonymous sources.

The letter also asked newsrooms to use language including “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” when referring to the Israeli incursion into Gaza, terms that critics say are biased and do not accurately describe the conflict.

Semafor said about a dozen current LA Times employees signed the letter, but mediaita reported that LA Times journalist Suhauna Hussain claimed the number was actually closer to “more than three dozen.”

LA Times journalists were banned from covering the war between Israel and Hamas, after signing a letter condemning Israel.
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“Yes, it is true that we have been removed from coverage, which in effect removes many Muslim journalists and most, if not all, Palestinians from the LA Times from coverage,” he said. wrote in X, adding that “it was not true or at least it was not clear that signing the letter is a violation of the LA Times’ ethics policy.”

The LA Times, owned by biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, did not respond to a request for comment.

The publication’s senior editor, Kevin Mérida, sent a memo to staff last week reminding them of the company’s ethics and fairness policy, Semafor reported.

“An unbiased reader of The Times news coverage should not be able to discern the private opinions of those who contributed to that coverage, nor infer that the organization is promoting any agenda,” the memo allegedly said.

Hussain said the open letter, which was signed by more than 750 current and former journalists, was “direct” in its call for an end to the “murder of journalists” and “for fair, accurate and non-racist coverage of Palestinians.” .

“If anything, it reinforces the policy by requiring unbiased coverage – no language prohibits signing letters, and to my knowledge the policy has not previously been used to discipline in this way,” he tweeted.

At least 35 journalists have reportedly been killed during Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza and the war with Hamas.

The journalists signed an open letter condemning Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza and calling for an end to Israel’s military actions.
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The letter provided an estimate of the number of journalists and their families who had died in the conflict and said that Israel’s military actions “show large-scale suppression of expression.”

Additionally, he sharply criticized major news organizations for their coverage of the war, noting that newsroom leaders have often “undermined Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim perspectives, dismissing them as untrustworthy, and have invoked inflammatory language that reinforces tropes.” Islamophobes and racists.”

The letter also criticized the mainstream media for diminishing the perspectives of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims.

This week, the International Federation of Journalists also condemned “the murders and continued attacks on journalists” and called for “an immediate investigation into their deaths.”

On Thursday, the Committee to Protect Journalists He said the conflict had been “the deadliest month for journalists” since he “began collecting data in 1992.”

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