Covering the Israel-Hamas War

Saturday 28 October 2023, 11:00am – 12:30pm HKT / SGT (online)

The complexity and extreme sensitivity of the Israel-Hamas war coverage has presented journalists with many challenges, from their physical and mental well-being to making difficult ethical choices about what language to use and what images to publish. It is a war that has reached into Asia, with several countries, including China, the Philippines, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand and Sri Lanka, seeing their nationals killed or kidnapped by Hamas militants.

Our panel will examine how journalists are covering the conflict on the ground, discuss the ethical challenges including how to handle hostage videos, analyse the dangers of a war in which more than 20 journalists have been killed, and offer solutions on how best to deal with the mental health risks posed by exposure to the harrowing images and narratives from Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Eric Wishart is the standards and ethics editor, and former editor-in-chief, of the international news agency AFP. He drew up the guidelines for covering the Israel-Hamas war in collaboration with the agency’s senior editors, including those based in the Middle East, where he was English desk head from 1992-96. Eric is a member of the ethics committee of the Society of Professional Journalists, teaches journalism at the University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist University, is a judge for the Hong Kong News Awards, and a member of the Organisation of News Ombuds and Standard Editors.

Nicole Johnston  covers Australia for Sky UK and is currently reporting on Gaza for ABC Australia radio current affairs from Sydney. She spent a decade with Al Jazeera covering two Gaza wars, Egypt’s military coup and completed a Masters in Middle East Studies at the University of London, SOAS. Johnston lived and reported inside Gaza for one year and then Jerusalem, Cairo and Islamabad.

Ramy Inocencio is a CBS News foreign correspondent based in London, covering Europe and the Middle East. He will join the session live from ISrael where he arrived just a few days ago.  Ramy joined the Network in 2019 as CBS News’ Asia correspondent, based in Beijing and reporting across the Asia-Pacific, bringing two decades of experience working and traveling between Asia and the United States.

Tony Loughran is a global risk specialist, with more than 30 years of international experience as a safety and security professional with a focus on preparing journalists for hostile environments. He revolutionised the way in which journalists cover conflicts, pioneering state-of-the-art body armour, improving vehicles and developing hostile environment courses that have become obligatory, and life saving, for media personnel and others working in hazardous places. He is the author of “Zero Risk – Keeping Others Safe in a Dangerous World”, in which he describes his experiences working with journalists in such hotspots as Ukraine and Afghanistan.


Paloma Almoguera is an international multimedia correspondent with 15 years of experience with a focus on foreign affairs and finance. She is currently the EFE News Agency’s Southeast Asia correspondent. Prior to this, she worked as a collaborator of Spanish news media El País in Asia, and as an EFE correspondent in China, Switzerland, and Kenya.

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About AAJA-Asia

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) is a nonprofit educational and professional organization with more than 1,500 members across the U.S. and Asia. The Asia chapter of AAJA represents members across the Asia-Pacific region. It is a diverse, multi-ethnic community of local and international journalists and media professionals committed to supporting a vibrant press in the Asia-Pacific region. We are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in media organizations, providing training opportunities to members, supporting students interested in journalism and advocating for fair media access.