ABC under fire for downplaying Gazan journalist killed by Israeli strike

November 2, 2023
Outside the ABC for Roshdi Sarraj. Photo: Jacob Andrewartha

Journalists and others have accused the ABC of downplaying the death of Gaza-based freelance journalist Roshdi Sarraj, who was killed by an Israeli airstrike while working for the ABC on October 22.

They paid tribute to Sarraj and all the other journalists who have been killed in a silent vigil on October 31, outside the ABC’s headquarters in Southbank.

The ABC acknowledged Sarraj’ death on air in a single sentence, without elaborating on how he died or displaying his photo. 7.30 also briefly acknowledged his death on October 30 — at the end of its program.

Sarraj’s last report was filed from the Shifa Hospital in Gaza. According to the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) 31 journalists and media workers have been killed by Israel’s strikes on Gaza since October 7.

Amin Abbas, a Palestinian-Australian organiser, told the vigil: “I was expecting the ABC to prioritise paying tribute to such an amazing photographer and colleague who’s paid his own life to keep telling us the truth, including us in Australia.

The ABC “had a duty not to pass over his death in silence”.

Abbas said there’s never been a more critical time to “know what is really happening in Gaza and remembering those that we lost”. He said it is “the least we can do to help us protect the brave ones that are still trying to do so”.

The vigil paid tribute to all journalists who have and called for their protection. It demanded Israel allow unconditional safe access for international journalists.

Representatives from the MEAA joined the vigil. The union has added its voice to calls for a ceasefire.


Remembering Roshdi Sarraj. Photo: Jacob Andrewartha

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