Ironic headline: Arab media faces renaissance after years of 'repressive' government
That's a headline in The National, the government-funded newspaper in Abu Dhabi, reporting on the 10th Arab Media Conference in Dubai.
The mainstream media in parts of the Arab world faces change after years of government-sanctioned censorship, according to Egypt's minister of culture.Yet, unless I missed something, The National has not asked critical questions of why the UAE government rounded up a guys who petitioned their government for democratic reforms, and held them incommunicado without charges. Petitioning your government is not the same as issuing an insult.
Emad Abu Ghazi, speaking on the opening day of the Arab Media Forum in Dubai, said that the regional media industry had not witnessed the growth seen in other parts of the world. He attributed this partly to "repressive laws" and government control of media channels.
"Some governments had brought repressive laws and codes against the media," said Mr Abu Ghazi. "With the totalitarian regimes, Arab countries have witnessed years where media were under control of censorship"
While the Arab media may have missed out on development seen in the West over the past century, it is now in line for a transformation, he added.
"The last century has witnessed a backward [step for Arab] media, while the whole world was going through media revolution," said Mr Abu Ghazi. "The Arab media cannot resist some changes."
Mr Abu Ghazi said the media is "a very important tool in the struggle of the people."
DXB's Arab Media Forum is always the pressure valve where everyone lays everything out on table; only to then return to form