Every time there is a mentioning of a Palestinian journalist killed in Gaza by Israeli strikes, a typical two-fold response would pop-up from that camp of things that sees: a) there are no journalists in Gaza to begin with and b) they all work for Hamas.
The first part of the response is the product of western media self-promotion, that if it was not covering the news anywhere, then the news is not happening. In other words, there has been a false perception promoted by Western media (and of course by Israel) that there is no credible journalism to be relied on to report on war in Gaza because there are no Western or Israeli media covering it! On one hand, Israel is not letting any news organization journalists get into Gaza, unless they are embedded with the Israeli troops. But on the other hand, Western media (the corporate news organizations and those so-called public media institutions) have also found no reason to contract local journalists to work for them (freelance if you will) in Gaza.
The result is quite clear: whether the corporates were able or not, restricted or otherwise constrained (as they are now, reporting under the control of the Israeli military censor in West Jerusalem); news consumption is not luxurious commodity at times of war and conflict (let alone a mass slaughter such as the one taking place in Gaza).
Palestinian journalists reporting the news in Gaza are a must and a humanitarian necessity. They were/are the means in which the entire global community is receiving details on the endless risks to humane survival (and existence) in that devastated area of Occupied Palestinian Territories. Palestinian journalists reporting is the only channel in which humanitarian, medical, relief and other international agencies would know what damage, suffering and immediate relief planning (or evacuation) needs are.
I, as many observers and advocates, reject characterization of Gaza journalists as “second” or “third” class; to declassify them by pointing them out as [merely] citizen journalists or just individuals with a mobile and camera. The same goes for media support workers- they became an integral part of taking the unthinkable risk to let the news out. We must cherish them as the true messengers of truth in modern history; the ones who took on themselves the task of bear witnessing the biggest slaughter in modern times- a genocide.