Voices in the Chaos: Content Creators and Journalists Providing Real-Time Insights on Gaza
The last few months of 2023 have been marred by the bloody events of the armed conflict between Israel and the militant group Hamas. From the Gaza Strip to the West Bank and the Israel-Lebanon border, raw and violent images have populated social media.
However, between censorship and misrepresentation, supporters of the Palestinian cause have encountered a media wall that is difficult to circumvent.
“As soon as we saw that the events were happening, that the war was starting, there was an information vacuum. Nobody knew anything. And [into] this information vacuum came all kinds of interest groups, fear, confusion, and conspiracies,” Achiya Schatz, executive director of FakeReporter, an Israeli watchdog group that tracks disinformation, told NPR.
Reused images from previous conflicts, misleading information and journalists who go out of their way to spread it have been the order of the day in Gaza.
That’s why we at FIERCE wanted to put together a non-exhaustive list of confirmed content creators and journalists you should follow to get the most accurate and timely information about the conflict.
One of the most followed journalists on the ground is 25-year-old filmmaker Bisan Owda
Bisan Owda’s voice has been heard in every corner of the globe. The Palestinian filmmaker has become known for her social media videos documenting the violent events in Gaza.
Owda has worked with the United Nations in the fight for gender equality. She was also a member of the UN Women’s Youth Gender Innovation Agora Forum. The young Palestinian has also worked with the European Union on climate change and is a European Union Goodwill Ambassador.
As of October 15, 2023, Owda has amassed over three million followers on Instagram. Her videos reflect the true experience of Palestinian civilians since the Israeli invasion.
At just 22 and 24 years old, journalist Plestia Alaqad and photographer Motaz Azaiza share what is happening every day in Gaza
Plestia Alaqad and Motaz Azaiza are two other young Palestinian journalists broadcasting live from the war. Both show the extent of the devastation, often admitting the pain of filming what their compatriots are going through.
With hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, these journalists under the age of 25 have shown the world the true face of genocide.
Other reliable sources are Al Jazeera correspondents, both on and off the ground
As a UAE-based network, Al Jazeera is one of the most reliable platforms to follow what is really happening in Gaza.
Its correspondent, Wael Dahdouh, has been especially recognized for his bravery on the ground. His home was attacked in the Nuseirat camp in central Gaza, where he lost several members of his family.
“The network strongly condemns the indiscriminate attacks and killing of innocent civilians in Gaza, which have resulted in the loss of Wael al-Dahdouh’s family and countless others,” the network wrote in a statement.
Another journalist on the ground is Hind Al-Khoudary
Before the Israeli invasion, Khoudary had written for Middle East Eye, Anadolu Agency, and +972 Magazine. In March 2019, Khoudary worked for Amnesty International as a freelancer, where she reported on the Great March of Return protests and denounced violations committed by Hamas against protesters.
Khoudary was kidnapped, interrogated, and threatened by the terrorist group for more than three hours.
Since October, Khoudary has posted on Twitter and Instagram about Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.
Other voices have risen up against the violence on the other side of the conflict
Groups such as Jewish Voices for Peace have joined in calling for a ceasefire and denouncing the State of Israel.
Jewish Voices for Peace is an American activist organization founded by Tony Kushner, Judith Butler, and Noam Chomsky, among others, in 1996.
In response to the 2023 onset of the Israel-Hamas conflict, JVP created controversy by attributing Hamas’ attack on Israel to “Israeli apartheid and occupation, and U.S. complicity in that oppression.”
JVP called on the U.S. government to “take immediate steps to withdraw military funding to Israel and to hold the Israeli government accountable for its gross human rights violations and war crimes against the Palestinians.”
Independent sources fight back against censorship
Since the beginning of the conflict, digital platforms such as Meta have blocked countless publications and accounts broadcasting directly from Gaza.
One of these was Eye on Palestine, an independent account that collects content from the epicenter of the genocide.
Quickly, Eye on Palestine amassed more than six million followers on Instagram before suddenly shutting down in late October.
Although the Instagram and Threads accounts were back online two days later, the account’s Telegram account claimed it had to do with “technical issues.”
The group said it had disabled its Facebook page “due to the constant deletion of posts.”
Other journalists to follow
There are many journalists and photographers who, day after day and despite the danger to their lives, try to bring to the whole world what is really happening in Gaza. Ahmed Hijazi, Hosam Salem, Doaa Mohammad, and Dima Khatib are just a few of them.
Do you know of other sources? Leave them in the comments, and let’s bring much-needed information to the world.