Thursday, September 16, 2010

  • Thursday, September 16, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Zvi writes:

Many Arab rulers and journalists have a very different understanding of the purpose and value of the media than the one that is popular in the United States and many other western countries.

The Western Media
In the US, the media as a whole is broadly regarded as the "fourth estate." The belief is that it is important for citizens to have a reliable vehicle for learning and understanding the reality of the society and world in which they live. The idea is that without such a vehicle, it is impossible for a democratic society to function even moderately well. And without such a vehicle, the western free market that is the beating heart of the world economy would come crashing down around everyone's ears. Widespread ability to obtain true information is crucial in a decentralized society.

Of course, every news organization has its biases, and some of these are extreme - but the diversity of the available media and, more recently, the democratizing influence of the internet, help people who want to find the truth to uncover it, and to report it.

There are specific exceptions - media outlets that have openly aligned themselves with a particular political party. But in democratic societies, it is broadly understood that the media, rather than being an attack dog for the government, is supposed to distribute true information.

The Arab Media
In the Arab world, the model is completely different, and with good reason. In the Arab world, media outlets are almost inevitably closely aligned with with the political interests that sponsor and protect them. In most cases - because all but a few Arab governments are strongly centralized and ruled undemocratically by an individual, junta or party - most of the media work, directly or indirectly, for the king/president/chief thug or his family or allies.

At the very least, reporters in these countries know that if they go too far in criticizing the regime or its allies, they will be harrassed, fired, arrested, beaten or killed.

Indeed, the general understanding among Arab regimes is that the media exists not as a neutral vehicle for delivering true information, but rather as a vehicle for presenting and sometimes testing the will of the nation - a very different thing. The "will of the nation" being what the president or king says it should be, it is expected that the media will find ways to support it. It is expected that the media will find ways to attack the enemy (often Israel, Jews, Iran or the west) and at all costs to avoid presenting the enemy in a way that might weaken national resolve.

A few countries - notably Lebanon and Iraq - are sufficiently fragmented that the media - though frequently aligned with specific political parties - can actually achieve a degree of diversity that would be impossible if these countries had strong centralized regimes like Syria or Saudi Arabia.

A few countries (Qatar, UAE) have come to specialize in blanketing the Arab world with sponsored media which, because they are not tightly beholden to the rulers of most Arab countries, achieve some independence from Arab governments other than their own (and their own government's close allies). However, these media nevertheless fall into the tribalist trap of becoming a vehicle for the Will of the Arabs rather than a vehicle for reporting the truth, no matter how unpalateable this would be for their audience.

The Palestinian Arab Media
The Palestinian media is extremely weak and is severely constrained by the PA in the east and Hamas in the west. The reporters would be out of work if they did not strongly self-identify with the Palestinian Cause and if they did not voice the Will of the People regardless of the truth. In a word, the Palestinian media is simply propaganda. The reporters working for the Palestinian media are mostly third-tier journalists. They certainly don't work for tiers 1 and 2 (the free western media and the international Arab media).

But again - for these journalists, the Will of the Nation is everything, the Cause is everything, and the truth is nothing.

Zvi may be too charitable about the Western media.


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz



Follow by Email



For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW hum Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion Opinon oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Blog Archive