Journalist suspended in biased and flawed process by SBS Management

Feb 14, 2023

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network is deeply concerned at the biased and flawed process by SBS Management that saw renowned journalist Essam Al Ghalib suspended, pending investigation.

APAN unequivocally supports Essam, and all journalists who pursue truth with integrity on Palestine in the face of targeted campaigns and harassment from lobby groups. We call on SBS Management to dismiss its investigation.

“At a time when Israeli forces and settlers have killed more Palestinians in the West Bank in one month than at any other time in the past few decades, worrying about a journalist’s tweet from 10 years ago is a callous distraction,” APAN President Nasser Mashni said.

“As Palestinians, we rely on journalists to hold Israel to account because our governments certainly don’t.

“It is not for any Zionist group to determine what is proper journalism; this is the role of regulators, media unions, and networks themselves.

“The fact this confidential process was disclosed by a malicious leak shows the lengths some groups will go to stifle anyone who provides contextual, critical reporting of Israel.”

Essam Al Ghalib was suspended by SBS and is currently under investigation for a tweet he made almost 10 years ago, prior to his employment with the media organisation.

Before his role with SBS, Essam had worked with a multitude of international outlets globally as a journalist and fixer, providing access and coverage of some of the region’s major conflicts over the past 15 years.

APAN also questions the biased approach of SBS Management for not applying the same standards to other journalists in its organisation.

As recently as a few days ago, a journalist in the current employ of SBS made divisive and derogatory comments on Twitter about Palestinians and their supporters, yet remains in their position, free from any investigation.

This suspension and investigation is not the first time SBS has raised the ire of the community in relation to Palestine.

In 2021, Vic Alhadeff was appointed to the SBS Board, having previously been forced to resign as the Chair of NSW Community Relations Commission after his public support for Israel’s 2014 bombing of Gaza, which killed more than 1000 Palestinians.

The SBS News Director also caused concern recently after Freedom of Information documents revealed emails with the Executive Council of Australian Jewry that showed the Director agreeing to participate in an Israeli state-sponsored press junket.

SBS has a responsibility to all the communities it serves, and we call on SBS Management to honour that commitment by dismissing its investigation, and reinstating Essam.

For more information and interviews, contact:
Jarred – [email protected] – 0434 869 088