65 days of parched mouths, longing stomaches, vulnerable lives, soul-crushing deaths, and much more, Gaza’s factual picture has been veiled by Western Media. However, the failure of Western Media didn’t stop the truth from showing itself before the world. During this time of the Israel-Hamas war, the world realised the significance of social media. When the traditional Western media hindered the facts about Gaza, the democratisation potential of social media gave the right to the people in Gaza to show the catastrophe, “the Nakba”, they have been going through. This article gives you an insight into how social media has become a democratising platform for the Gazan Journalist to present the truth firsthand and raises a question on the credibility, transparency, and democracy of Western media outlets.
The phrase contains two terms i.e.; democratisation, meaning granting accessibility to everyone, and social media, meaning communication exchange by digital means. You could find an elaborate explanation on either topic if you dig deeper but together these give rise to the philosophy of freedom to access, voice, and opinion. In this context, social media democratises by letting anyone create content and broadcast. Even though, as far as we have come the negative impacts of this “freedom” of social media are always highlighted when the time comes social media travels to those underground parts of the world where traditional media outlets have to stop voyaging. From 7th October 2023, when Hamas attacked Israel, the war commenced and both sides faced a lot of losses. However, the Western media outlets played polarised politics and manipulated the facts in support of Israel while suppressing Gaza’s actual loss.
It all started in 1948 when the State of Israel celebrated its independence meanwhile more than seven hundred thousand Palestinians were forced out of their lands. The people of Palestine were destitute as Israel’s Armed forces were hunting them down to death. Hence the poor people had to either cram their whole lives and move out of their own country or be bound to the Gaza Strip or West Bank. It was a disastrous event for Palestinians and they named it “Nakba”, the Arabic for “catastrophe”.
Ever since the land of Palestine has witnessed many turns of events, violations of human rights, and loss of innocent lives and then comes the war of 2023 and The biggest genocide of the century. It started on the 7th of October 2023, when Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, threw a surprise attack on Israel which comprised a barrage of rockets that attacked Israeli military bases and civilian population centers. To retaliate against this attack, Israel started bombardment in their homes, schools, and workplaces and when all the Gazans went to the hospital to save their lives, Israel blasted the hospital.
The powerful countries’ leaders including America and British claimed that Hamas is a terrorist force and Israel has a right to defend itself. In their so-called defence, Israel has killed 7000 children and more than 17,000 Palestinians in two months. The Israeli armed forces claimed that Hamas was using these people as human shields to protect themselves and they kept taking the lives of innocent Palestinian citizens.
Meanwhile, no superpower of the world spoke for the rights of Palestine, and neither did the strongest media outlets voice to defend the rights of Palestine.
In this instance, a great role of social media was seen when Gazan journalists, wearing press vests and helmets went out to the streets and risked their lives to show the demolishing, killing, and displacement of the people of Gaza. They showed the people stuck under the buildings which have been bombed, the people parched and starved for food, the neighbourhoods and their homes destroyed, and they showed how their normal lives turned into an absolute nightmare.
In this scenario, to present the actual picture of Gaza to the world 50 journalists have been killed since Israel began its retaliatory attacks on Gaza Strip as reported by Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). They were using Twitter and Instagram as a channel to broadcast the current scenario of Gaza. In the meantime, realizing the potential usage of social media and the impacts it was making on the world, Israel tried to cut down the Internet connection a number of times. At the time the world went uncertain of their conditions but they strive tto get connected and keep updating of what they have been through. Some of these social media journalists aren’t past their twenties, they are either in their mid or late twenties and they are both the male and female who keeps moving around to hatch the truth and restrain the world from misleading the world.
In the current scenario, these journalists have got enough, they are screaming for “Cease Fire” through their instagram handles.
One of these most influential Journalists is Motaz Aziza, who despite of heartshackling bombardment and air strikes keep uploading the war content. His motto was never to become famous content creator, he aims to present the condition and survival of Gazans in its actual face. And there are many more journalist who keep striving to show the world, but what is the world doing for them instead of just being an “audience”?