BBC Washington Bureau Chief: Safety First!

It’s always risky to be a journalist in Palestine, but now more than ever. Last week the home of a BBC reporter in Gaza was bombed, killing his infant son. I recently sat down with Simon Wilson, BBC Washington Bureau Chief to talk about the challenges of reporting on Palestine and around the world.

“Working in Palestine is difficult for every journalist. It’s quite hard for people to understand the conflict, while some other people get bored. Some people think both parties will never live in peace.Its a very profound conflict,” said Wilson.

 Wilson has worked for the BBC in Jerusalem and the Middle East, as well as Europe and other places around the world.

BBC makes their journalists go through field safety training because they highly value the wellbeing of their employees. They try to put together experienced teams to ensure the combination of professional journalism and safety. Local knowledge is key, said Wilson. BBC recommends having a local person accompany foreign reporters at all times, to provide directions and give advice.

Wilson noted that difficult situations have pushed journalists in conflict zones to become more professional and sophisticated when conveying their message. But he believes that nothing is worth dying for. That it is important to report about a conflict, not be a part of it.

In my opinion, every Palestinian journalist struggles to share the truth and their point of view. We do this while working under difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions. I believe that when people around the world understand the facts of the Palestinian situation, they will support us.

What do you think about BBC coverage of Palestine?

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