In May 2012, residents of the West Bank village of Aseera al-Qibliya captured footage of settlers using live fire during a skirmish with Arab villagers. At least one villager was injured. The video cameras used to capture the violence were part of a batch of cameras given out to residents by a left-wing advocacy organization.
The footage was extremely shaky and didn't show the moment when the guns were fired, prompting the Israeli Defense Force to downplay its seriousness by saying it did "not reflect the incident in its entirety." The video was posted on the Internet and shown by numerous international news outlets.
My piece will examine who the citizen journalists of Gaza and the West Bank are, how and where they get equipment and training, and what outside organizations (if any) back and support their work. It would also look at citizen journalism clubs and what kind of work they are doing, and examine the value and impact of reporting done with little to no editorial or professional guidelines.
In-person and telephone interviews, background research, on-site reporting, photography, and video will be used to capture the story.
Sponsors to this project will receive a profile e-package of Gaza/West Bank Citizen Journalism outlets and highlights of their work for easy browsing and consumption.
I am a freelance journalist, writer and photographer from New York City, currently based in Jerusalem. I have been traveling to and reporting on stories in Israel and the West Bank since 2009. I regularly reports on issues related to journalism, the media industry and the work of journalists globally.
I am a contributing editor with The Epoch Times; write in-depth feature pieces for Quill, the magazine of the Society of Professional Journalists; and am a Senior Blogger on Media and Foreign Policy for the Foreign Policy Association. My news and opinion pieces, essays, photographs, and in-depth profiles of famous cultural figures have been published internationally in print and online.
My reporting assignments, including major investigative reports, news and feature pieces, have taken me throughout the U.S., Asia, the Middle East and Central America.
I will produce an 800-word article with photos, and online-only features to enhance the story, including audio of the sounds of the region and interviews, and video of interviews with citizen journalists and footage of them reporting and working.
Contributions to this project will enable me to fund travel and communication expenses within the West Bank and Gaza. It will also give me a minimal amount of compensation for the time and energy that I will need to spend working on this project.
I will document the progress of the project on my blog (http://genevievelong.wordpress.com) with written posts, video, photographs, and audio clips while I am in the process of reporting.
Funding for this story will go toward:
If the entire goal is not reached, all funds will go toward items listed above, but the scope of the project will be downsized according to available funds.