Open letter published from news organisations calls for access to Gaza

A letter signed by more than 60 broadcasters and news organisations from around the world calling for access to Gaza to report on the war has been published in full.

Entry to the narrow strip for journalists has been all but impossible without the permission and supervision of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).

The open letter has been co-ordinated by the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Sky News is among the signatories.

The Israeli government and IDF have been approached for comment.

Here is the letter in full:

We, the undersigned, request that Israeli authorities end immediately the restrictions on foreign media entering Gaza and grant independent access to international news organizations seeking to access the territory.

Nine months into the war, international reporters are still being denied access to Gaza except for rare and escorted trips arranged by the Israeli military. This effective ban on foreign reporting has placed an impossible and unreasonable burden on local reporters to document a war through which they are living. More than 100 journalists have been killed since the start of the war and those who remain are working in conditions of extreme deprivation. The result is that information from Gaza is becoming harder and harder to obtain and that the reporting which does get through is subject to repeated questions over its veracity.

We fully understand the inherent risks in reporting from war zones. These are risks that many of our organizations have taken over decades in order to investigate, document developments as they occur, and understand the impacts of wars the world over.

A free and independent press is the cornerstone of democracy. We ask that Israel uphold its commitments to press freedom by providing foreign media with immediate, independent access to Gaza, and that Israel abides by its international obligations to protect journalists as civilians.

READ MORE: Our first mission as journalists is to tell the full story - Alex Crawford, special correspondent

Letter signatories:

ABC News, United States
Agence France-Presse, France
Alternative Press Syndicate, Lebanon
Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism
Asian American Journalists Association, United States
Associated Press, United States
Association for International Broadcasting, United Kingdom
Association of Foreign Press Correspondents, United States
Bangladeshi Journalists in International Media, Bangladesh
BBC News, United Kingdom
Bianet, Turkey
Bloomberg News, United States
CBS News, United States
CNN Worldwide, United States
Community Media Forum Europe, Belgium
CTV News, Canada
Daily Maverick, South Africa
Daraj, Lebanon
Denik Referendum, Czech Republic
European Broadcasting Union, Switzerland
European Federation of Journalists
Financial Times, United Kingdom
Forbidden Stories, France, Italy
Global Investigative Journalism Network
Global Reporting Centre, Canada
International Association of Women in Radio and Television
International Centre for Journalists, United States
International Fund for Public Interest Media
International News Safety Institute, United Kingdom
ITN, United Kingdom
Le Mauricien, Mauritius
McLatchy, United States
Media Development Centre, Tunisia
Media Diversity Institute, United Kingdom
National Association of Hispanic Journalists, United States
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, The Philippines
NBC News, United States Nieman Foundation for Journalism, Harvard University, United States
NPR, United States
Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project
Premium Times, Nigeria
Prospect Magazine, United Kingdom
Public Media Alliance
Pulitzer Centre on Crisis Reporting, United States
Rory Peck Trust, United Kingdom
RTÉ News & Current Affairs, Ireland
Rural Media Network, Pakistan
Sky News, United Kingdom
SMN24Media, Sri Lanka
Somali Media Women Association, Somalia
Sveriges Radio, Sweden
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, United Kingdom
The Guardian, United Kingdom
The Irish Times, Ireland
The New York Times, United States
The Washington Post, United States
Twala, Algeria
Vocento, Spain
VRT News, Belgium
Wattan Media
World Association for Christian Communication
World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), Germany
Yle News and Current Affairs, Finland