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Survey: Over half of Palestinian media say PA and Hamas restrict their work

     "More than half of the Palestinian media organizations (53%) said they have suffered restrictions at some time in the past such as closure, threats and attacks on staff or property, according to a new survey on the media published Saturday.
The survey, conducted by Near East Consulting (NEC), said a majority of 75% of the media organizations see the Israeli occupation as the main restriction they currently face, but a significant number also cited the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and Hamas in Gaza as restricting their work.
NEC said there were 192 functioning media organizations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and out of 184 media organizations that responded to the survey, 27 were TV stations and 66 were radio. It said 145 were in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and 39 in the Gaza Strip.
In addition, it said 36% of Palestinian adults surveyed about the media outlets said they always follow the news, while 57% said they sometimes do and only 6% said they never follow the news.
In addition, 42% of Palestinians said international satellite TV is their most important source of information, compared with only 24% for local TV, 20% for internet, 8% for local radio and 3% for newspapers.
Most Palestinian TV and radio stations broadcast only to the city or district where they are based. Only 19% of TV stations and 19% of radio stations claim to broadcast throughout the Palestinian Territory.
More than three-quarters of media outlets (80%) said their funding came mainly from private sources such as advertising. Only 4% said they got government funding, while 16% said they were financed by local and international NGOs.
The five most watched TV stations in the Palestinian Territory were Al-Jazeera, 31%; the official Palestine TV, 18%; MBC, 18%; Al-Arabia, 7.5%; and Abu Dhabi TV, 5%. These stations are all available on satellite, which is widely used by households in both the West Bank and Gaza.
The five most popular radio stations were Ajyal, 15%, the official Voice of Palestine, 8%, Voice of al-Aqsa, 7%, Al Quds, 6%, and private station Raya FM. Voice of al-Aqsa, which is close to Hamas, and Al Quds, which is close to Islamic Jihad, are listened to mostly in Gaza.
Most local TV and radio stations have only a tiny share of the overall market. Preferred programs on local TV and radio deal with news, Palestinian politics and local issues.
About one-third of Palestinians said they do not believe that local TV and radio coverage of local issues is objective. Of these people, more than 60% cited political partisanship as the main reason, followed by self-censorship, lack of professionalism and financial restrictions.
Focus group participants said they thought low audiences for local stations were because of weak financial resources, lack of professionalism, absence of original, independent news reporting and lack of variety in local programming."

Note: The poll is not yet featured on the website of the polling institute.