Palestinian media personality Hassan El Kashef said that the freedom of media is violated because of the divisions in Gaza Strip or in the West Bank.
El Kashef stated that the syndicate of journalists is completely absent at present, stressing the necessity for qualified media professionals. He also reiterated the need for a code of ethics to govern and organise the relationships among media institutions.
How do you perceive the reality of Palestinian media?
I have some reservations on media whether in Gaza or the West Bank. Freedom of press is violated as a result of division taking place between the two parts of the nation. The press became a victim because of the shutting down of media institutions owned by the Palestinian Authority and Fatah, disabling Palestinian media institution from competing with Hamas-run media which have huge resources. Palestinian media have no resources in turn, leading to public disillusionment.
Do you think the Palestinian media stopped addressing major causes?
Generally, it didn’t. Through all points of criticism we mentioned earlier, the compass of media in Palestine is still adjusting its direction towards the major causes of the nation. In spite of this fact, the media was indulged in the differences and internal conflicts and divisions.
Major isues such as poverty, unemployment and the like were absent in mass media reports though slogans were always being raised. It is a must for the mass media to undertake the responsibility of conducting comprehensive dialogue and involving the public in the media process.
Do you believe there is press freedom in the Gaza Strip?
Even the minimum amount of media freedom is not found in the strip...recently a state of releasing congestion is taking place after reconciliation started to appear on the horizon last May. Press freedom is still too expensive to obtain in Gaza as everything related to freedom of media and expression is still limited. I hope signs of improvement appear soon in this regard in the light of reconciliation.
Where do you think reconciliation is going and how far could it go?
It’s a national must, but I advise all people in Palestine to believe what they see and watch and be insistent to be aware of all details of the agreement leading to reconciliation.
What are your future media plana?
Currently, I present the Red Lone program on one of the Palestinian TV satellite channels where I try to put a spotlight on issues of public opinion.
Is there any positive response to what you present?
No, there wasn’t although I’m keen on viewing all opinions and visions in my program.
Do you find difficulties during work such as weak facilitation under the rule of Gaza?
Due to the lack of studios in Gaza TV, we depend on private companies for production.
How do you see the performance of the syndicate?
There is no syndicate right now. Weak traditions and misunderstanding how a syndicate works in addition to restricting this type of work on certain factions.
What is the message you want to convey to media professionals in the Arab world?
I demand all media representatives and institutions in the Arab world prove that Palestine is the central cause of all Arabs. They have to show that the major conflict of Arab peoples is that one taking place with Israel. It must convey to the whole world that Palestinian people are a main composite of Arab Peoples. They also have to focus on massacres endured by Palestinian people according to poet Mahmoud Darwish who said “they love us only when we are dead.”