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‘Journalistic malpractice’: CNN staff slam network’s ‘bias’ towards Israel

Pro-Palestinian protesters rally outside CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, the US, on October 14, 2023. (Photo by Zuma Press)

CNN’s staff have slammed the network’s biased coverage of Israel’s war on Gaza, saying the editorial policies have led to a regurgitation of Israeli propaganda and the censoring of Palestinian perspectives.

In a report published on Sunday, the Guardian said Journalists in CNN newsrooms in the US and overseas said broadcasts have been skewed by management edicts and a story-approval process.

“The majority of news since the war began, regardless of how accurate the initial reporting, has been skewed by a systemic and institutional bias within the network toward Israel,” said one CNN staffer, adding “Ultimately, CNN’s coverage of the Israel-Gaza war amounts to journalistic malpractice.”

The Guardian, citing accounts from six CNN staffers in multiple newsrooms, and more than a dozen internal memos and emails it obtained, said the CNN headquarters in Atlanta have set strict guidelines on coverage of the war, including tight restrictions on quoting Hamas and reporting other Palestinian perspectives.

According to the report, every story on the war must also be "cleared by the Jerusalem [al-Quds] bureau before broadcast or publication.”

That comes as CNN’s new editor-in-chief and CEO, Mark Thompson, who took up his post two days after the start of Israel’s war on Gaza was accused of bowing to Israeli regime pressure on several occasions when he was the BBC’s director general two decades ago.

The biased coverage has led to a “schism” within the network and pushed some CNN staff to think of quitting their jobs, according to the report.

“There’s a lot of internal strife and dissent. Some people are looking to get out,” they said.

Israel waged a war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas launched the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime's decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.

Since the start of the offensive, the Tel Aviv regime has killed more than 27,365 Palestinians and injured 66,630 others.

Thousands more are also missing and presumed dead under the rubble in Gaza, which is under “complete siege” by Israel.

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