The “Same” Change

by mkleit

Basis of the Code of Ethics


“Arab media coverage is like a person on a plane looking down.” One Sudanese Member of Parliament and political activist Salih Mahmoud Osman said when criticizing the Darfur coverage. Media is a tool to sustain, as well as it is an instrument of change, and a catalyst to flourish freedom and uphold it. But the way that informative media is used decided nation courses, dictatorship or egalitarianism to be more specific, giving both sides the same time to express, articulate, and thus unify. Apparently, the action justifies the intention, in times of turmoil, journalists, whether they like it or not, are the followers of their leaders. By will or not, they are bounded by certain parameters given from higher authority, as Edward Herman and Naom Chomsky declared in Manufacturing Consent:”The media serve, propagandize on behalf of, the powerful societal interests that control and finance them.”

Domestic coverage requires the pursuance of instructions, as mentioned before, when Jordanian journalist Sameh al Mahariq said:” As long as you don’t write about the king, the military, religion or sex you can cover anything you want.” A small amount of news is to be given, senseless and mindless, just to keep hands off certain issues and distract the audience of true happenings.

Nevertheless, some progress in Arab media coverage is viewed, though the ratings are low. For one issue, you have 22 Arab states covering, thus 22 different agendas, but the type of reporting mainly, if not always, stays one. Hide the truth to avoid problems. Amani Tawil of the Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies explained the previous circumstance:”Selective information. Television reflects the special agenda of each government in the Arab region, while newspapers have a tendency to marginalize stories about other Arab governments.” It’s a non-democratic system they are in, so the expectations of journalistic freedom are too close to bite the dust. Even though in certain cases journalism is done properly, but it depends on the predicament. When Arabs are being shot and killed, no journalist can be objective, for a reason that it’s a humane sentiment to protect the helpless. But if a phone call from some politician, ally to the owners of the broadcasting channel, the sense of humanity is left behind the rocking doors of the news desk office, alongside the pens of truth and blank papers that are supposed to filled with reality coverage and honest reporting.

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