Social media opens conflict in Gaza to world

By ANDRES CORREA

The common theme of this blog is the impressive pace in which everything seems to be advancing in the world of journalism. This is due to a daily avalanche of new online resources and innovations, specifically in social media, that aids the way that the world receives their news. However, in regards to the latest conflict taking place between Israel and Palestine, much more has changed in the past several years.

During the 2008 Israel Defense Force invasion, the Israeli military did not allow any foreign journalists to enter Gaza. In that conflict, 1,400 Palestinians were killed while only a few journalists based in Gaza were able to cover the events. Just four short years later, journalism and social media have come to play too key a role in the world for anyone to be able to keep them away from what is currently going on in Gaza.

News organizations have planted themselves inside Gaza, cementing their role, as evidenced by the swift reporting of an Israeli strike on a media center in Gaza City last Monday. While four years ago this event may not have even been covered, in 2012 the news was quickly posted onto Twitter by a journalist in the media center. This was followed by a tweet from NBC chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, a picture of the smoking building. Soon after this came video of the attack from Associated Press reporters in Gaza, as well as CNN.

A new era of wartime journalism is evolving. It is an era in which, not only can journalists have the access to report on every explosion as soon as it happens, but regular citizens may use their social network accounts to provide a glimpse into the ongoing terror in their cities.

It is reasonable to predict that there will soon come a time when every attack and every explosion produces an instant echo through the world of social media. Perhaps these images can guide the conscience of the masses and assist in creating a planet in which armed conflicts can be avoided more often.

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