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Dima Khatib wins award

Dima Khatib, managing director, AJ+, was awarded the WAN-IFRA’s Women in News Editorial Leadership prize at the World News Media Congress at the end of May.

Dima Khatib wins award
Dima Khatib: “I am honored to be here and to receive this award.”

In her acceptance speech for WAN-IFRA’s Women in News Editorial Leadership prize, Khatib paid tribute to journalists killed in Palestine in an unprecedented time in terms of the threat to journalists.

“I am honored to be here and to receive this award. Thank you, Women in News, and thank you, WAN IFRA. This recognition will mark my career.

“I would’ve loved to speak to you today about the gender balance we have proudly achieved at AJ+. I won’t be speaking about AI, though. I have a personal issue with it. I spent a lifetime learning languages, and there comes AI switching between languages like water!

“I won’t speak about any of that because these are dark times for journalism and humanity.

“For the past 8 months, our daily life has been all about news of death and destruction. Our colleagues on the ground in Palestine have zero protection. They are bombed, starved, displaced and targeted to the point that their families tell them not to come to visit them because they believe they would get bombed if a journalist got close!

“One of them, Samer Abu Daqqa, Al Jazeera’s cameraman in Gaza, bled to death after being hit twice by an Israeli drone in Khan Younis. He left two young children and a wife behind.

“Another one, Momin Al Sharafi reported live on the bombing of his own family saying the names of 21 members of his family on air, their bodies were never recovered from the rubble.

“Another colleague, Yumna Al Sayed, had to answer her children’s questions: “Mom, does it hurt to get bombarded? Do we feel the pain, or do we die instantly?”

“We are witnessing horrendous times in Gaza.”

Jodie Ginsberg, the president of the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, said: “This war is unprecedented in terms of the threat to journalists.

“There has never been more loss of journalists documented since the foundation of CPJ.

“I have to admit, I feel schizophrenic, like being in a parallel universe, because before shaping our future with technology, science and AI, I believe we need to change our present. No journalist should ever endure what Palestinian journalists are going through. Impunity is a licence to kill more and more, and it should end. No journalist should be targeted anywhere any time, not in Ukraine, not in Palestine, not in Georgia, not in Azerbaijan, not in Belarus, nowhere in the world.

“Let’s all demand justice for Shireen Abu Akleh, killed by an Israeli sniper two years ago, and there is still no justice for her. Let’s demand justice for all journalists killed, jailed, threatened, and intimidated while doing the job we all do and love. We cannot stand still pretending there is nothing wrong. I am saddened to see that we, as media organizations, don’t do enough to protect fellow journalists when the evidence about targeting them is out there for all of us.

“Freedom of the press starts with the right to life and safety for all.

“I actually asked my son to count how many of you are here today and it is just under 200. Now think with me, 140 journalists and media workers have been killed in Gaza in the past 8 months, that is about ? of the people present in this room. Just look around you, look at each other and let that sink in.


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