The Big Pharaoh
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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Independent media? What Independent media?

Arab media fall silent on Khaddam

There are signs that influential Arab media outlets have been instructed not to carry more statements by former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam, who has called for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad.

Several Saudi-owned outlets have not shown or published lengthy interviews that they have conducted with Mr Khaddam.

There has been much talk about the "independent" media that mushroomed in the Middle East during the past years. You know, channels such as Al Jazeerah, Al Arabiyah, etc. To a close observer, these TV channels and other media outlets are far from independent, they are all owned or partly financed by countries in the region. Al Jazeerah is financed by Qatar and closely follows what the Qatari government is expecting from it. The same goes with Al Arabiyah and Al Hayat newspaper, both have strong Saudi ties and so they think twice before messing up with Saudi's rulers.


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