Posted: 05 Feb 2010"A recent bill passed [sic] by the US Congress imposes sanctions on Middle East satellite companies that are broadcasting channels deemed hostile to the United States. Last week Arab information ministers deliberated about setting up a joint media commission. Neither development has offered any comfort to the region’s non-state media. The very idea of the US Congress defining how media in other countries ought to behave is confusing simply because it defeats the principle of the free flow of information that the US champions. Just think of the recent US reaction to China’s harassment of Google and you realise how central media freedom is in the US policy agenda. ... It is perplexing to see this type of move, which was never raised by the more conservative Congress during the former Bush administration. In fact, that administration was wise enough to shape this region’s public opinion not by closing down hostile media outlets, but by launching credible broadcast operations like Alhurra Television Channel and Radio Sawa. It is through such constructive engagement in the region’s public sphere, rather than through sanctions and suppression, that the goals of US diplomacy would be better served." Muhammad Ayish, The National (Abu Dhabi), 3 February 2010. Refers to H.R. 2278, adopted by the House, but yet to be considered by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. See previous post.
Copyright 2006–2019 Kim Andrew Elliott.