Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bloggers help expose Israeli censorship

Bloggers and independent journalists somewhat apart from the pressures of the mainstream press were key in exposing a scandal wherein Israel's government placed a reporter's alleged source under secret house arrest for months, placed a gag order on on Israel's news media about the arrest, and even imposed a gag order on the existence of the first gag order, according to the Jewish Daily Forward.

The Forward summarized how the incident finally came to light when bloggers not only stood up to Israeli threats, but posted material despite pleas from the supposed source, Anat Kam, who feared for her future if her imprisonment became known.

The government reaction stemmed from leaked documents apparently showing that Israel's Defense Forces defied Israel's Supreme Court and targeted unarmed Palestinian militants for assassination.

After the first few stories about the story went online, other news media broke the story: the Associated Press, the Guardian, the Independent, Israel's JTA news service, the Times of London and the Washington Post.

Reporter Lisa Goldman recapped the scandal in the Forward.