Editors Guild of India condemns airstrikes on Gaza media tower

Al Jazeera and Associated Press offices evacuated in bombed building

Editors Guild of India condemns airstrikes on Gaza media tower
Screenshot of YouTube video of journalists returning to the media building in Gaza bombed by Israel on 15 May 2021

In yet another instance of precision bombing by Israeli forces of Palestinians an 11-story tower was demolished instantly by Israeli missiles on Saturday, 15 May 2021. An hour’s notice was given to the journalists to evacuate and no journalist lives were lost. Apart from the offices of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press the building housed several other offices and about residential apartments. The building had only one elevator.

On Sunday, 16 May the Editors Guild of India issued a statement saying it ‘strongly condemns the brazen airstrikes on a building in Gaza that housed the editorial offices of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press.’ A spokesman for AP in New York said that the bombing of a building that had particularly good sight lines across Gaza would only mean less information flow to the outside world about what is happening there.

The Editors Guild of India statement signed by president Seema Mustafa, general secretary Sanjay Kapoor, and treasurer Anant Nath reads –

“The bombing raid on Saturday, 15 May 2021, demolished the 12-story building, destroying much of the camera and editing equipment, and severely affecting the news reporting and broadcasting capabilities of the two organizations. Besides the loss of hardware and office space, the bombing destroyed what was described as ‘home’ by some of the journalists. Given the recent background of escalating conflict in this region, EGI sees this as a de facto attack on news media by the Israeli government, which can disrupt the flow of news from this highly-volatile region and which has global security implications.

The Editors Guild of india demands that the Israeli government gives a detailed justification of the decision-making behind this attack, along with evidentiary proof. The Guild also calls for the Israeli government to facilitate a UN-monitored investigation into this bombing raid. Further, the Editors Guild of india urges the Indian government to take up this issue with the Israeli government, demanding an independent inquiry and reiterating the need for ensuring safety of journalists in any conflict situation.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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