Major Israeli News Channels Sign Deal on Ethical Coverage of Gilad Shalit's Return

New agreement stipulates that reporters and photographers must keep their distance from the Shalit home following the return of the abducted IDF soldier.

Israel's top television news outlets signed an agreement on Monday that would regulate the ethical aspects of media coverage concerning Tuesday's expected return of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit.

The agreement was signed after the news departments of Channel 2 and Channel 10 television held negotiations for over 24 hours.

Shalit home - Yaron Kaminsky - 17.10.2011
Yaron Kaminsky

Under the terms of the signed agreement, reporters and photographers from both stations will keep their distance from the Shalit home in Mitzpeh Hila and avoid taking invasive photographs.

The state television broadcaster, Channel 1, has already announced it will adhere to the principles outlined in the Nakdi Document, the Israel Broadcasting Authority's code of ethics for news coverage.

Still, one camera will have access to all areas at all times, including the moment the family meets Gilad. Director Tal Goren has accompanied the family closely for the past five years, and of course for the past few days.

Goren's footage won't necessarily ever be made public. "I film for the family," she told Ha'aretz Sunday. "I document the family in order to show Gilad what happened. It's definitely possible that the public will never see this footage."

In the past few days Goren has been interviewed extensively by various news outlets. In December 2009 her film "Family in Captivity," about the Shalit family, was aired on Channel 10.

Still Goren insists, "I'm not a journalist, and my motives are different. Nothing is aired without the family's consent."