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Israel: How To Deal Military Censorship?

To get an israelian media accreditation you´ve got to sign an agreement to accept the rules of censorship of photographs dealing with security and defense matters. Everyone ever worked in Israel knows that.

Concerning a trip to Israel (first one) I was wondering how that procedure drives practically? How do I decide which pictures I´ll present the military censors? I mean, not any single picture deals with security matters. How long does it take to meet this nice guys? and so on,…

I´m basically concerned how to get my stuff out of the country in case of trouble. Beside unproblematic subjects I´m just working on the “typical” conflict subjects. The wall, Westbank. Nothing really sensitive, I suppose, but…

What expieriences do you have? Any information would help me to estimate this unfree procedure ahead. I suppose that this would be interessting to a lot of photographers among us.

ThanX in advance!

by randbild at 2009-07-20 11:33:13 UTC Hamburg , Germany | Bookmark | | Report spam→

haven’t been in israel in a while,

but they don’t bother you.
in the film days, if you wanted to avoid trouble at the airport, you actually took your film to the censor’s office where they would wrap your package of film in tape and seal it with their stamps. they never, ever looked at it.

it was strictly a formality.

in today’s digital world, i don’t think you have to worry about it at all.
but people who have been there more recently, please give more updated info…

by [former member] | 20 Jul 2009 16:07 | Beijing, China | | Report spam→
yeah is no problem.. just if u wanna do some stories with IDF will take some time before they organize it.. thats all.
so.. no worries :)
dont think anyone will go checking ur disk as long u are accredited as u should be and doing ur job..
send me PM if u have further questions..

by Maja Hitij | 20 Jul 2009 20:07 | Berlin, Germany | | Report spam→
put it all on portable hard drive and fed-ex it back. it worked for me.

by Jennifer Balcombe | 20 Jul 2009 23:07 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Jennifer’s idea is probably the best. but other than that in my experience they really don’t care. what the censors are mainly concerned with is special forces/ bases. there are certain bases that are considered secret, they’re not on maps and arn’t supposed to exist. dont photograph them. There are bases with the IAF that are have some pretty cool things, also completely off limits. Different bases will have different things that won’t get out to the media, though I’ve never encountered a situation where they didn’t tell the people there beforehand. the other problem is that with certain special forces the members have to remain anonymous for various reasons. I had photographed a group of special forces and was told that I can’t photograph any of their faces. Even pictures from military sources will have their faces blurred out.

I think the main concern is if you get permission to visit an actual base, which is not entirely rare for foreign journalists, it just doesn’t happen often. on most bases involved in active combat duty there are maps and many other things marked ‘secret’ being handed around on a constant basis and places where they make up the whole room.

If you really want to do things by the book, hand over any pictures concerning places that you have specific military authorization to visit. it might seem redundant, being as how you got permission to be there, but there might be something you photographed on a base that you shouldn’t have, such as maps, computer screens, etc. again, the country really doesn’t care about what you do concerning palestinians. they care about sensitive military data getting out.

if you have any other questions i’ll help out as best i can

by Menashe Wodinsky | 20 Jul 2009 23:07 | New York, United States | | Report spam→

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randbild, photographer randbild
Hamburg , Germany
Maja Hitij, Photojournalist Maja Hitij
Berlin , Germany ( TXL )
Jennifer Balcombe, Photojournalist Jennifer Balcombe
London , United Kingdom
Menashe Wodinsky, Freelance Menashe Wodinsky
(Be your own hero)
New York , United States ( JFK )


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