GPO calls for journalist visa for foreign press

GPO is concerned that foreign members of NGOs and activists claim to be journalists.

January 21, 2010 14:18
1 minute read.
foreign press

foreign press 248. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

The Government Press Office is pushing for the introduction of a US-style journalist visa for foreign reporters, as part of a bid to filter out political activists posing as media employees, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

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The GPO is concerned that foreign members of political nongovernmental organizations and political activists attempt to deceive immigration authorities by claiming that they are working as journalists.

"Some activists offer their services to foreign media outlets, and then claim they are journalists. A journalist visa would require foreign citizens who say they are journalists to demonstrate their qualifications, and to prove that they worked for a news agency before arriving in Israel," GPO Director Danny Seamen said.

While the idea has been proposed in the past, the GPO is more hopeful now of seeing the visa introduced after gaining support from Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov.

The idea faced opposition in the past from the legal department at the Interior Ministry, which said the visa had no grounding in law.

The GPO has argued that such a visa is in operation in the US, and is effective in regulating the arrival of foreign press staff.

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