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Accepted Paper:

Anti-colonial journalism? Mediating Palestinian stories to a North Atlantic imperial public  


Alejandro Paz (University of Toronto)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the reporting of 2 well-known journalists, critical of the Israeli state, and their rapport with Palestinians, to produce an anti-colonial account of events in Israel/Palestine. It thus examines the authority produced in countering official narratives in anti-colonial journalism.

Paper long abstract:

How can journalists who are critical of the colonial project of the Israeli state challenge its accounts in the complex public arena of the North Atlantic? This paper is based on both ethnographic fieldwork and digital research into Israeli English-language journalism. Since the late 90s, as Israeli news organizations went online, they also began to experiment with English-language versions. Today they are read and cited by journalists throughout the North Atlantic, and they are now indispensable sources for debates about Israel/Palestine. They are indispensable, that is, to what I call the “imperial public” that debates the future of sovereignty and use of force in Israel/Palestine.

This paper will look at two well-known critical journalists, Jonathan Cook and Amira Hass, who seek to challenge official accounts of the Israeli state, and bring to light the oppression of Palestinians under its colonial regime. In interesting ways, both understand their long-term rapports with Palestinians to enable their epistemic and anti-colonial stance in their journalism. Jonathan Cook, who went to the country while still writing for The Guardian, considers his links to a Nazareth-based community essential, while Amira Hass, a longtime reporter of the well-known Ha’aretz, points to her long term residence and connections in Gaza and the occupied West Bank. In examining their journalism, I will also consider how new communicative technologies, like social media, play a role in the conflicting regimes of authority, where official and anti-colonial reporting struggle for visibility.

Panel Res10b
Whose rules? Conflicting regimes of authority and shared social space