December 05, 2005
Arab journalists "weak and corrupt"
A bit of a clash of kanjas is taking place in the UAE after Dubai Holding chairman Mohammed Al Gergawi accused Arab journalists of being weak and corrupt:
Dubai: Arab journalists have expressed anger over a statement by Mohammad Al Gergawi, Executive Chairman of Dubai Holding, who accused media professionals of being corrupt and accepting bribes from various parties.
Al Gergawi called on the media to refrain from focusing on people who have been marginalised, as well as in concentrating on their issues and project the positive aspects of society.
So on one hand journalists are being paid off to write nice things about their governments, on the other hand they're not being positive enough and should crank up the spin?
Prince Bandar Bin Khalid Al Faisal, Chairman of Al Watan Saudi newspaper said that it is not fair to hold all the Arab media responsible or accuse it of corruption.
Prince Bandar stressed the importance of supporting the media by Arab governments, to help it reach a better performance in form and content.
Al Gergawi overruled what Prince Bandar had said and commented that governments should not direct media. Journalists and media men rejected Al Gergawi's statement.
So now we have Gergawi fearlessly standing up for media independence, as long as it leads to the printing of nice things, and doesn't focus on the "marginalised".
Posted by secretdubai at December 5, 2005 04:34 PM
Filed Under: Media
TrackBack URL for this entry:
It is true that he was sloppy in his phrasing. He could be interpreted as making a categorical statement. However, when someone speaks of a diffuse group, "As are B" often means "As have a significant tendency to be B" not "All As are B".
"So on one hand journalists are being paid off to write nice things about their governments, on the other hand they're not being positive enough and should crank up the spin?"
It's quite possible for him to believe that journalists are not being critical enough of the government (or more generally, the people who have power) and too critical of people who have little to no power (perhaps as a way of creating a sideshow that takes attention off the government?). Hence journalists should not be paid off by the powerful to write nice things about the powerful and they should spend less time writing negative things about the powerless.
He may believe that there is a preponderance of positive spin when it comes to the powerful and a preponderance of negative spin when it comes to the powerless and he wants less of both. Perhaps more information or a closer, non-defensive reading of what he says could reveal what he believes.
"So now we have Gergawi fearlessly standing up for media independence, as long as it leads to the printing of nice things, and doesn't focus on the "marginalised"."
Is there a significant difference between openly making a suggestion aimed at persuasion (as Gergawi does) on the one hand and using bribes secretely on the other? If I were to openly criticise some parts of Aqoul, would it be as dependent on me as if I bribed Eerie and a bunch of other people here?
Being in favour of A being independent in no way implies being in favour of A not receiving suggestions and criticisms. I can, for example, criticise a politician's decision but this is not equal to bribing him although both are liable to change his actions.
The following you didn't write, but I found interesting:
"as a reporter from Emirates Media Inc hit back, saying governments, businessmen and intelligence services are to be blamed for the corruption."
Responsibility for bribery or anything involving complicity isn't sum zero. The assertion that those who accept bribes don't have responsibility for bribery is strange.
"He said honourable mediamen never give in to bribes."
A bit tautological and it tells us nothing about whether or not there is bribery and how prevalent it is.
Posted by: Baal Shem Ra at December 5, 2005 07:59 PM
...if I bribed Eerie and a bunch of other people here?
I'll send my bank info shortly.
Posted by: matthew hogan at December 5, 2005 09:22 PM
why arabs are weak and how to devolop
Posted by: simo at March 19, 2006 04:48 PM