EDITORIAL: How we’re rethinking our journalism in Israel-Palestine

After a decade of changes in the reality and discourse, we want to be up-front about how we’ve changed in tandem.

EDITORIAL: How we’re rethinking our journalism in Israel-Palestine

When a group of activist-journalists started +972 Magazine in 2010, they set out to challenge the mainstream media’s reporting on Israel-Palestine. After a decade of changes in both the reality and the discourse, we want to be up-front about how we are rethinking our identity, values, and goals as an independent media outlet. That is why, as one step, we are making changes to our “About” page, and have written this statement to share how +972 envisions its role in the current media landscape.

As Israel demonstrates that apartheid and occupation are fundamental pillars of its regime, we are striving — in line with our legacy — for a renewed approach to journalism in Israel-Palestine. We believe in a journalism that is intersectional, progressive, and that centers the experiences and demands of vulnerable communities on the ground. Rather than repeat the same news cycle, we aim to break it, and reimagine what is possible in order to guarantee equity and justice for all communities living in this land.

First, we believe it should be recognized as an essential fact that, through decades of colonial expansion, Israel has effectively erased the Green Line and consolidated a single regime between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. In doing so, consecutive Israeli governments have made it crystal clear that the state seeks to uphold permanent domination over Palestinians — whether through military rule in Hebron, unequal citizenship in Jaffa, siege in Gaza, or forced exile in Ein al-Hilweh.

To better reflect these facts, we have changed the standard language we use to describe the regime in Israel-Palestine. When +972 was founded, the word “occupation” sufficed for many. Today, as a result of both developments on the ground and the tireless activism of Palestinians and allies, the word “apartheid” has become a more apt description of the system of separation and supremacism that exists between the river and the sea. This term does not negate the framings of “occupation” or “colonialism” — both of which we also use on the site — but rather is intended to help establish a baseline from which readers, journalists, and other observers can understand the present realities.

Second, we are reasserting our commitment to accurate and fair journalism. +972 has always strived to produce professional, fact-based reporting and analysis on Israel-Palestine. But we also know that in journalism, context and framing are key — especially in a place that has consistently been mischaracterized in the media. Our idea of fair journalism recognizes asymmetries and abuses of power, even as we document the authorities’ rationale for their policies.

To that effect, we are making it a priority to amplify voices that have long been excluded from the public discourse — especially those of Palestinians — to help correct the imbalance of who gets to speak and report on the region. This includes uplifting the voices of other oppressed communities and countering the ways in which Israel pits these groups against each other and against Palestinians, from Mizrahim to African asylum seekers, from LGBTQ+ activists to working-class families.

Third, we are pledging to serve as a forum for a wide range of stories and perspectives that other media outlets tend to ignore or shy away from. We are particularly keen to tackle issues that make complex our understanding of Israel-Palestine, while remaining true to our political and journalistic principles. This includes unpacking Zionism as a settler-colonial project, even as many view it as a national movement; reasserting the centrality of the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland; and exploring a range of possible political solutions and visions of liberation. Challenging the conversation, we believe, both accurately reflects the multifaceted nature of life in the region, and enriches our pursuit of equity, justice, and freedom of information for all.

+972 has always been a work in progress, both internally and externally. From our very beginnings, we have viewed the site as a platform for people living on the ground between the river and the sea — from activists to cultural workers, from prisoners to laborers — not only to describe their reality, but to try and change it. We continue doing that work today, and onward.