Christiane Amanpour says there are 'no journalists on the ground in Gaza'

Christiane Amanpour says there are 'no journalists on the ground in Gaza'
British-Iranian journalist Christiane Amanpour has been accused of devaluing Palestinian journalists after saying there are no journalists on the ground.
3 min read
13 April, 2024
British-Iranian journalist Christiane Amanpour says the "one major problem" covering the war on Gaza is there are no journalists on the ground in Gaza [GETTY]

CNN’s chief international anchor, Christiane Amanpour, is facing backlash after claiming on The Daily Show, hosted by Jon Stewart, that there are no journalists on the ground in Gaza.

Speaking to Stewart, Amanpour said: “One major problem covering Israel-Gaza right now…is that we can’t get there [Gaza]. This situation is unprecedented; journalists are not on the ground in Gaza.”

After Stewart noted, "There are journalists on the ground, they’re being killed”, referring to the Palestinian journalists who have been covering Israel’s war on Gaza since 7 October under intense bombardment and assault from Israeli forces, with over a hundred having been killed, injured or disappeared

Replying to Stewart, Amanpour clarified that she was referring to “independent Western journalists" or anybody else who is unable to report on the ground, except for the local Palestinian reporters who are risking their lives reporting under Israel's bombardment.

International journalists have been calling on Israel and Egypt for access into Gaza since Israel’s war on Gaza broke out on 7 October; only a handful of foreign journalists have been allowed access but are being “embedded” with the Israeli army.

While the military has stated that its troops have escorted journalists around Gaza, these journalists have faced restrictions, such as having all footage recorded from the enclave approved by Israeli army officials before broadcast.

“It’s about telling the story of Gaza, telling the story of the Palestinians. You know, actual local journalists would tell you about a people, right? A people, not just dehumanising numbers, but a people,” Amanpour added.

“And when we [non-local journalists] go to do our job…we go there to be the eyes and ears of everybody who can’t go, who’s not a local, but we’re not able to get there.”

Social media users online have criticised Amanpour’s comments, accusing her of devaluing the work of Palestinian journalists in Gaza and the West Bank.

Reporters like Bayan Abusultan, Bisan Owda, Plestia Alaqad and Hind Khoudary have been reporting the events of Israel’s war on the ground through social media, uncensored and without restrictions. This group includes Motaz Azaiza, who has since left the enclave and Wael Al-Dahdouh, who has lost many of his family members since 7 October.

Western media has been blasted for the nature of the media coverage surrounding Gaza’s plight, with many accusing it of having a pro-Israel bias that dehumanises Palestinians.

Gaza's media office reports that over 100 journalists have been killed in Gaza since Israel's bombardment, the majority of whom are Palestinian journalists.

The Israeli military has stated it cannot guarantee the safety of journalists operating in the Gaza Strip.