Translation and Subtitles: Abir Kopty – Freie Universität Berlin
With the arrival of the National Authority in 1994, the Palestinian media was energized and diversified between public and private ownership. The authority then rushed with laws to regulate media and give licenses to the media institutions. Today, the Palestinian scene is witnessing an increasing number of media outlets, most notably, al-Hayat al-Jadida established by Nabil Amr in 1994 and currently owned by the Palestinian Investment Fund and considered the official newspaper in Palestine.
Al-Ayyam Newspaper launched in 1995 by Al-Ayyam Publishing House.
Al-Quds is one of the oldest Palestinian newspapers, which still exist to date, it was founded by Mahmoud Abu Zuluf in Jerusalem in 1951. The current editor-in-chief is Walid Abu Zuluf.
On the radio level, there are 68 local radio stations, among them, Ajyal Radio Network owned by Bakri Radio Broadcasting Company that owns three stations with 22 wave frequency, which first founded Ajyal Radio in 1999.
Raya FM launched in 2006 by Raya Advertising and Publishing and it is a private radio.
As for the TV broadcasting, there are 28 local and satellite channels, among these is “Palestine TV” the official channel of the Palestinian Authority, founded in 1994. The channel is part of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation.
“Al-Aqsa” satellite channel was founded in 2006 in Gaza.
There are channels that broadcast from outside Palestine such as “al-Quds” satellite channel that was launched in 2008 from Beirut by a group of Palestinians in the diaspora.
“Palestine Today” broadcasts from London and was founded in 2013. The channel is owned by a group of Palestinian and Arab businessmen.
The Palestinian media is potentially free and seeks to be free, however, it is constrained by the Israeli occupation. The Palestinian satellite channels tried to commit to a free media approach, and tried to push through the Palestinian narrative and story by covering different angles of pain, suffering, torture and cruelty including the stories of the arrests, home demolishing, land confiscation, the humiliation on the check-points of the occupation and others.
Until this moment, there is only one law that regulates the development of media in Palestine, which is the law of copyright. We have drafted 4 laws that haven’t been approved yet. These are the Journalists’ Syndicate law, the Visual and Audio Broadcasting law, Media Supreme Council law, and another one. This is an obstacle for the development of the Palestinian media. The Palestinian media needs a legal reference to help its development.
We are facing many problems between the journalists and different institutions regarding libel, slander and defamation cases. These cases are being referred to criminal court, which holdback the evolution of the Palestinian media. We honestly need a new law that deals with these accusations in order to protect the journalism and journalists. Till this moment, we are suffering from absence of a law that prevent journalists from going to prison for publishing a report, as is the case in many other countries. We are working as journalists, academics and union members for that law to be adopted in Palestine. But till now, the Palestinian authority has not adapted, in any law, the protection of journalists from the assault of either the political or financial institutions.