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National Association of Broadcasters
Covering the Crisis in the Middle East

Covering the Crisis in the Middle East

October 25, 2023

With the world watching the escalating conflict in Israel and Gaza, journalists in the region have done incredible work bringing news to the public and battling disinformation. Broadcasters take seriously the responsibility of providing Americans’ most trusted news, especially in times of crisis. Fact-based journalism shines an important light in this darkness.

Soon after the Hamas attack on Israel, the anchors of the nation’s three biggest evening newscasts — NBC’s Lester Holt, ABC's David Muir and CBS's Norah O’Donnell — were broadcasting from the region. NBC News provides just one example of an in-depth discussion with a reporter on the ground in Tel Aviv. Radio groups, such as Audacy, are providing ongoing news coverage on air and in podcasts to meet listeners where they are.

As they have whenever events that shake and shape our world occur, broadcasters are on the front lines to ensure critical information is reported, history is documented and the stories of our humanity are told, all in the face of overwhelming tragedy and unimaginable circumstances.

Though we need no proof of the risks of reporting from a war zone, the number of journalists that have been killed and wounded is a gut-wrenching reminder of the dangers of this crisis.

Providing Local Perspectives

With reporters who live in the communities they cover, broadcasters provide local perspectives to international stories. They tell the stories of individuals personally touched by the crisis, report on incidents of hate and harassment against Jewish and Arab-American communities and find the organizations and leaders working to bring people together.

Hearst Television's KOAT Action News in Santa Fe, N.M., spoke to Tomorrow's Women, an area nonprofit that has been working with young Israeli and Palestinian women for twenty years. The organization's director, Tarrie Burnett, discussed their peacemaking work. "This situation is unlike any before, certainly, that I've experienced in my time with the organization, but also what I'm hearing from our staff there, that this is unprecedented," she told the station.

Nexstar Media Group's WATE 6 On Your Side in Knoxville, Tenn., spoke to several representatives from the local Jewish and Palestinian communities about their experiences. They described rising security issues and challenges along with renewed efforts to organize for peace.

Sinclair Broadcast Group's News Channel 3 in Kalamazoo, Mich., reported from a community vigil hosted by a local organization, Kalamazoo Nonviolent Opponents of War. "We are heartbroken by the horrific images of innocent people caught in the crossfire of violence in both Palestine and Israel," KNOW officials said in a release.

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