News from Palestine – exhibition and roundtable discussion

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As part of the Palestine Unlocked festival (www.PalestineUnlocked.com) the Oxford NUJ branch is hosting a roundtable discussion about how news from Palestine is gathered and reported. This is a public event

Venue: Friends Meeting House, 43 St Giles, Oxford

Date/time: Tuesday June 16th, 7.00pm

The discussion will be preceded, at 6.30pm, by the formal opening of an exhibition of photographs taken by Nablus-based photojournalist Abed Qusini, which will be on display until Friday June 26th. (For details of opening times please see below)

Our knowledge of what is happening in the West Bank and Gaza depends in no small part on the ability of Palestinian journalists to gather and report news stories.

They work against the odds.

Around 500 roadblocks (estimates from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) criss cross the West Bank and Gaza, preventing journalists from travelling to report on unfolding news stories.

Independent monitoring organisations listed more than 200 attacks against Palestinian journalists last year, involving arrests, detentions and use of rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and stun grenades.

Israel refuses to recognise any journalists’ accreditation that doesn’t emanate from the Israeli government press office, including the International Federation of Journalists press card, which is accepted by governments around the world.

Our understanding of what is happening in Israel/Palestine, and why, is shaped by the way stories are selected and framed in the editorial process here in the UK. And here too the influence of powerful vested interests and bias often make themselves felt.

To explore and discuss these issues, and as part of the Palestine Unlocked festival, the Oxford NUJ branch has invited Abed Qusini, a Nablus-based photojournalists who works for Reuters, to talk about his experiences recording images from the West Bank over a period of 17 years.

His story, reported in an interview on the cover of the Oxford Times Weekend, is not unusual among Palestinians following his profession, and includes being shot in the leg, suffering permanent hearing impairment from a stun grenade and seeing a close colleague killed by his side.

It’s the price paid for gathering some remarkable shots of life in the West Bank, almost 50 of which will be exhibited at The Friends Meeting House in St Giles from Tuesday 16th to Friday 26th (for exact opening times please see below).

As part of a roundtable discussion David Hearst, former leader writer for the Guardian, and now editor of Middle East Eye, will talk about the battleground over how news stories are edited and produced in London. The discussion will be chaired by Paddy Coulter, former Director of the Reuters Foundation Journalism Programme.

A few examples of the images on display are shown below, together with the opening times of the exhibition

An old Palestinian woman leaves her house as Israeli soldiers search it during the second day of a military operation in the West Bank village of Beita near Nablus March21,2006. . REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini

An old Palestinian woman leaves her house as Israeli soldiers search it during the second day of a military operation in the West Bank village of Beita near Nablus March21,2006. . REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini

Palestinian woman Mazozeh Alawneh gestures after an assault by Jewish settlers during olive harvest in the West Bank village of Azmout near Nablus, October 19, 2008.. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini (WEST BANK)

Palestinian woman Mazozeh Alawneh gestures after an assault by Jewish settlers during olive harvest in the West Bank village of Azmout near Nablus, October 19, 2008.. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini (WEST BANK)

A Palestinian young girl runs in front of Israeli troops during clashes ,following a protest against the expansion of the near by Jewish settlement of Halamish, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah June18, 2010. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini (WEST BANK)

A Palestinian young girl runs in front of Israeli troops during clashes ,following a protest against the expansion of the near by Jewish settlement of Halamish, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah June18, 2010. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini (WEST BANK)

A Palestinian boy uses a sling shot to throw stones towards Israeli soldiers during clashes following a protest against the near-by Jewish settlement of Qadomem, in the West Bank village of Kofr Qadom near Nablus October24, 2014. REUTERS/Abed Alraheem Omar Qusini

A Palestinian boy uses a sling shot to throw stones towards Israeli soldiers during clashes following a protest against the near-by Jewish settlement of Qadomem, in the West Bank village of Kofr Qadom near Nablus October24, 2014. REUTERS/Abed Alraheem Omar Qusini

The exhibition is open at the following times and days

Tuesday 16th, 10.00am – 7.00pm

Wednesday 17th 10.00am – 5.00pm

Thursday 18th 10.00am – 12.30pm and 2.30pm – 5.00pm

Friday 19th 10.00am – 12.30pm and 3.00pm-5.00pm

Monday 22nd 10.00am – 5.00pm

Tuesday 23rd 10.00am – 5.00pm

Wednesday 24th 10.00am – 5.00pm

Thursday 25th 10.00am – 5.00pm

Friday 26th 10.00 am – 5.00pm

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