Palestinian Authority spokeswoman and Director of the Palestinian government’s media centre, Nour Odeh, has defended her non-interventionist media policy in the West Bank. “I adopt the principle of transparency,” she claimed.
Odeh, who has been working in the media for more than 12 years and spent time as a senior West Bank correspondent for Al Jazeera English, told Arabstoday in an exclusive interview that she thanked Palestinian reporters and journalists for their recent excellent work.
The ex-correspondent revealed that journalistic standards were “still under debate” in Palestine. “There are a lot of things we do not agree on,” she said. “Like determining what sort of image we will create for an event, or the standards that govern news coverage.”
Discussing media standards in Palestine, PA spokeswoman warned that dissipating false news can create confusion. “It has a lot to do with experience,” she said. “It’s impossible for a veteran journalist to make this kind of mistake.” However, she added, “there is no infallible journalist. Bad information can be very common during times of unrest or war.”
Odeh meanwhile praised female Palestinian journalists, adding that they had demonstrated a “professionalism and distinctiveness” in both local and international media.
Odeh also defended the practice of off-the-record sources, which the journalist has a right to conceal.
“Journalists have a right to keep the identity of their source unknown,” she claimed. “The problem is adopting a source who is not authorised to give information without giving their name when this news later turns out to be false. Because this can affect a journalist’s credibility.”
Odeh concluded: “Our duty as a governmental media centre is to communicate to all and help journalists access the information they need.”
“My only advice is to always remember that with freedom comes the responsibility to play a constructive role in the Palestinian community,” she added.