CNN Employees, including the renowned international news anchor Christiane Amanpour, confronted network executives over what the staffers described as myriad leadership failings in coverage of Israel’s war on Gaza, according to a leaked recording of a recent all-hands meeting obtained by The Intercept.

In the hourlong meeting at CNN’s London Bureau on February 13, staffers took turns questioning a panel of executives about CNN’s protocols for covering the war in Gaza and what they describe as a hostile climate for Arab reporters. Several junior and senior CNN employees described feeling devalued, embarrassed, and disgraced by CNN’s war coverage.

The panelists — CNN Worldwide CEO and CNN Editor-in-Chief Mark Thompson, CNN U.S. Executive Editor Virginia Moseley, and CNN International General Manager Mike McCarthy — responded with broad assurances that the employees’ concerns were being heard, while also defending CNN’s work and pointing to the persistent obstacle of gaining access inside the Gaza Strip.

One issue that came up repeatedly is CNN’s longtime process for routing almost all coverage relating to Israel and Palestine through the network’s Jerusalem bureau. As The Intercept reported in January, the protocol — which has existed for years but was expanded and rebranded as SecondEyes last summer — slows down reporting on Gaza and filters news about the war through journalists in Jerusalem who operate under the shadow of Israel’s military censor.


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