World

NBC Reverses Decision To Recall Vet Gaza Correspondent

NBC has backtracked on its decision to pull veteran Middle East correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin out of Gaza after a public outcry against the studio.

NBC Reverses Decision To Recall Vet Gaza Correspondent
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Just days after NBC pulled one of their veteran Middle East correspondents from Gaza, they have reversed their decision and announced that he'll be returning over the weekend.

Over the past few weeks, NBC's Ayman Mohyeldin has been reporting from Israel and Gaza on the recent conflict — which some have said has been more balanced than other reports.

"Now before they actually leveled the house, they did fire off some warning salvos, but in essence, it only gave the residents in this neighborhood barely a few minutes to grab whatever few belongings they can and get out of here."

On Wednesday, Mohyeldin witnessed an Israeli shelling that left four children dead on a Gaza City beach. Almost immediately, he started sharing his chilling first-hand account on Twitter. (Via Twitter / @AymanM)

Another journalist tweeted a now-deleted Instagram post by Mohyeldin that criticized the U.S. State Department's response to the boys' deaths. 

And a video he posted on his Facebook showed the distressed mother of one of the boys. 

But when NBC aired the "Nightly News" segment covering the chilling attack, it wasn't Mohyeldin reporting from Gaza but instead Richard Engel in Tel Aviv, Israel.

With Engel only having just arrived in Tel Aviv and using Mohyeldin's footage and interview, TVNewser wrote that some NBC News staffers were upset about the move. 

Glenn Greenwald reported the next day at The Intercept that NBC sources told him Mohyeldin was recalled from Gaza for "security concerns" conlcuding with: "Gazans may have no way out of Gaza, but at this point, Mohyeldin seems to have no way back in."

While its reasonable to cite security as a reason for pulling one of your reporters, Greenwald also notes how Engel and an American producer with no Gaza or Arabic experience were then sent to Gaza to cover Israel's ground assault. 

Mohyeldin has extensive experience reporting in Gaza, and was there to cover the 2008/9 conflict between Hamas and Israel for Al Jazeera.

Because of that, it came as a surprise to many to find out he was pulled from coverage, with one person calling it laughable that someone with Mohyeldin's experience got moved out for security concerns. (Via Twitter / @evanchill, Twitter / @jeremyscahill, Twitter / @cjtoensing)

Soon, enough folks were talking about it that the hashtag #LetAymanReport started to trend and Twitter users shamed NBC for the move. (Via Twitter / @samyamina, Twitter / @ktwolf, Twitter / @Samarsaeed)

And it seems as if NBC noticed.

‚ÄčA statement released by NBC News on Friday revealed that the studio reversed its decision while commending Mohyeldin's reporting and saying "As with any news team in conflict zones, deployments are constantly reassessed. We've carefully considered our deployment decisions and we will be sending Ayman back to Gaza."

Reasons as to why NBC made the pull in the first place are sparse, but there is some speculation that the studio thought Mohyeldin was showing too much empathy for Palestine over social media or because of the amount of details he was sharing.