the kicker

Reuters Evacs Gaza Bureau

January 15, 2009

Per Reuters:

An explosion blasted a tower block in the city of Gaza on Thursday that houses the offices of Reuters and several other media organisations.

Colleagues said a journalist for the Abu Dhabi television channel had been wounded.

Reuters journalists working there at the time said an Israeli missile or shell appeared to have struck the southern side of the 13th floor of the Al-Shurouq Tower in the city centre.

Reuters evacuated the bureau, though a live camera feed that has been providing images from Gaza throughout the war continued to function. Live television images from another site showed smoke pouring from the upper floors of the 16-storey building.

McClatchy’s Dion Nissenbaum reports on the same, plus more from Daniel Seaman, head of Israel’s Government Press Office, who last week told the New York Times that international reporters in Gaza are a “fig leaf” for Hamas. Seaman told Nissenbaum:

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My job is not to be objective. From my perspective, the lesser of two evils is not to have international media inside.

There is an unequal war going on there between a power and a terror organization, and the only way to hurt us is to get those images to hurt us in the battlefield of public opinion. In that sense, the less pictures coming out helping them the better.

Writes Nissenbaum, “Seaman was most concerned about limiting TV footage from Gaza that ‘takes on a life of its own’ and drowns out Israel’s reason for launching the attacks.”

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.