Before the digital era, political documents kept in public archives with less than 50 years were not easily consulted or reproduced. They were – and still are – often subject to arbitrary declassification criteria. The use of digital supports led to a quantitative change in the mass of data in circulation similar to the effect of the press upon the manuscript era. But is political information now flowing free and unbiased? Or is it increasingly turned into a manipulated commodity?
Media filters and political control are today more efficient than ever and new tunnel visions are emerging. Huge social realities at the scale of international or civil wars are being easily wiped out of public horizon. The Palestinian conflict, older than a century, apparently does not fit into this description. However, a closer look reveals that it is one of the most affected by biased reporting. The standings of many local actors are not broadcasted by western media, too much data comes from single sources and, above all, significant releases are at risk of obliteration.
Following the patterns of other CEAUP digital archival projects, Palestina 23 is an attempt to record and disseminate historical documentation, this time on the Palestinian conflict. It will be released in two menu windows:
in “Governments & Political Parties”, official primary sources: statements and information issued by political parties and governments operating or standing on the conflict;
in “Institutional Media”, links and news previously edited by institutional media. Blogs or anonymous publications are not considered.
With a view to extending the archival coverage, the website includes a “Civil Society” menu window meant for the register of statements of people and of civil society organizations, formal or informal Selection criteria for the publication are based on a combination of four filters: checked source, pertinent content, access opportunity and, given the impossibility of a systematic coverage of all publications, preference given to the less broadcasted publications.
Palestina23 does not assume responsibility for the degree of veracity of its releases and will only edit documents from identified and, as far as we can do it, checked sources. In order to facilitate recording, all the information will be released as PDF documents in open-source mode.
Our ultimate goal is to contribute to a more enlightened action wherever it is most needed. As we are not alone in this task, we will provide links for other websites with the same purpose.