Chairman of the Palestinian Journalist Association, Na'im Tubassi appeared on Syrian TV and called on Arab media not to be objective. Following are excerpts from his comments:
Syrian TV broadcast a discussion between Naim Tubassi, Chairman of the Palestinian Journalist Association, and Seif Al-Sharif, Deputy-Chairman of the Arab Journalist Association. The discussion focused on the role of Arab journalists in reporting on the situation in the Middle East. The following is a verbatim translation of excerpts from the discussion, aired on April 28, 2004.
Tubassi: There is another important point. We, as Arab journalists and Arab media institutions, must be biased towards our main causes. We must be biased to the bone, considering what is being done to us. We must respond to those who speak of objectivity. When the internal Arab and Palestinian world is concerned, we must be objective. But when we are talking about occupation, invasion, attacks, and aggression against our people, I, as an Arab journalist, demand from here, from Damascus, that all Arab journalists?
Moderator: Who defines objectivity?
Tubassi: The supreme national interest defines it. This supreme national interest is that we be biased towards the Palestinian and Arab cause, facing this occupier. I cannot say, "A Palestinian child was killed in Jerusalem." I must say, "A Palestinian child was martyred." Because this child has all the justification to throw a Palestinian stone anywhere and anyplace he wishes. That is why, I as an Arab journalist, must say, "A Palestinian child was martyred."
Seif Al-Sharif, Deputy Chairman, Arab Journalist Association: But sir, the Westerner doesn't care if he was "killed" or "martyred." At the end of the day, we want our issues to be understood. It is as though we are trying to sell our own merchandise to ourselves.