NY consulate urges Israelis to upload war footage to CNN site

E-mail from consulate encourages Gaza periphery residents to 'make a difference.'

Kassam damage sderot 248 88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Kassam damage sderot 248 88
(photo credit: AP [file])
In its latest effort to bring Israel's message to the new media frontiers, the Israeli Consulate in New York is calling on residents of the Gaza periphery to offer up their own video and photographic news reports to the world. "Do you feel that the pictures of Israelis suffering are not seen around the world?" an e-mail from the consulate asks Israelis. "Now you, too, can make a difference." The videos are intended for CNN's iReport.com Web site. Launched in 2006, iReport allows people from around the world to post videos, photographs and news stories about events in their locale as they are happening. Almost all the footage, music videos and photographs posted to iReport about the Gaza conflict accuse Israel of being an aggressor and committing atrocities. The New York consulate's call aims to counter that anti-Israel trend with videos showing Israelis' lives under rocket fire and their views on the conflict. The site promises the videos will not be edited, though only appropriate videos are selected for showing on CNN's televised news broadcasts. In all, nearly a quarter-million videos have been posted to iReport from around the world. Over 1,000 were broadcast on CNN in December alone. A similar Web site, FirstPerson, is run by rival 24-hour cable news channel MSNBC. During the Gaza fighting, the New York consulate has been a hub for Israeli public diplomacy efforts in the alternative media. The consulate held the world's first diplomatic "press conference" over Twitter, allowing users from around the world to ask questions and get answers on the conflict, each in under 140 characters.