The term is used by Guardian journalist Nick Davies (he who uncovered the phone-hacking scandal) to mean a media barrier which inflicts pain on anyone who touches it. Thus, any journalist or media outlet seeking to reveal truths/facts about controlled or restricted topics should expect trouble.
In his book 'Flat Earth News', Davies refers to the dangers of anti-Israel reporting as tangling with the electric fence. He says that no matter how honestly and diligently a story on the matter is handled, if it is critical of Israeli behaviour then 'the fence' will respond. John Pilger, the acclaimed international journalist/writer, has been informed by various pro-Israel lobbyists that he is 'a nazi', 'a demonic psychopath', and that 'the murder of his family would not be a bad idea'. Similarly, the Independent's John Fisk has been told in the past that he 'belongs in Hell', that he is 'a leading antisemite' and that he is 'a paedophile'. The reason for these smears and accusations? Both men (and many other people too) have dared to legitimately report on Israeli oppression/ aggression against Palestinian civilians. Recently the MP Jenny Tonge and European Minister Baroness Ashton were 'electric fenced' for barely a suggestion of Israeli/Palestinian inequality.
Nick Davies states that the pro-Israel lobby is the most powerful in the world. Any 'guilty' party: MP, journalist or whoever, or even the media outlet they write for, can be subjected to enmass and co-ordinated complaints from this lobby, with the accusation that a story is either highly inaccurate, completely biased, or else it is 'a total pack of lies'. Communication channels such as telephones and e-mails can be swamped by the sheer volume of fence-patrollers firing in complaints, to the extent that a newspaper, magazine or broadcaster can barely operate. The amount of pressure that can be exerted is immense, and is capable of making even the BBC apologetic. But the BBC is generally pro-Israel anyway, with many Jewish executives well-positioned in its ranks. So it should be noted how closely the electric fence controls the Middle East media agenda.
The essential message, to all concerned in the media world, is that the Zionist state must NOT be reported negatively, otherwise the fence will inflict pain and often force a humiliating apology or retraction from those producing a legitimate story.