Ayman Mohyeldin, NBC’s veteran reporter who was playing soccer with the four Palestinian boys killed on the beach Wednesday, was removed from Gaza despite his reporting being, in Glenn Greenwald’s words, “far more balanced and even-handed” than the rest of the American media’s coverage of the conflict. According to Greenwald in his article Thursday for The Intercept, Mohyeldin’s firsthand reporting on the killing of these children has been crucial to the world’s understanding of what’s happening in Gaza, but NBC not only blocked him from reporting on the incident for the network, but then pulled him from his post for “security reasons,” despite sending another reporter and producer to replace him shortly after.
On Twitter, the hashtag #LetAymanReport is being used to demand answers and call for NBC to allow its reporter to do his job and continue covering Gaza, according to Al-Jazeera. Social media, The Intercept journalist said on Friday’s “Democracy Now,” is playing an important role in diminishing corporate media’s control over the way information is represented, allowing viewers around the world to witness images of the destruction being wreaked on Palestinians by the Israeli military.
Late Friday night, after Greenwald’s coverage and the Twitter protests, “NBC reversed course,” announced it was sending Mohyeldin back to Gaza over the weekend and issued the following statement:
Ayman Mohyeldin has done extraordinary reporting throughout the escalation of the conflict in Gaza, filing 25+ reports over the past 17 days, including his invaluable and well-documented contribution to the story on the deaths of the four Palestinian children on Wednesday. As with any news team in conflict zones, deployments are constantly reassessed. We’ve carefully considered our deployment decisions and we will be sending Ayman back to Gaza over the weekend. We look forward to his contributions in the coming days.
What reporters like Mohyeldin are trying to do on Twitter and beyond is erase the anonymity of the suffering, abolish the dehumanization that so often allows us to turn a blind eye to the killing of our fellow human beings, and worst of all, to justify it.
—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata