Journalism School for the Censored

by Staff, Utne Reader
July-August 2010
Add to My MSN

REUTERS / Hamad I Mohammed


Content Tools

Related Content

Should Journalism Students Cover War?

Far from the cozy classrooms of American journalism schools, students are venturing to remote and of...

Women Win on Arab Reality TV

Saudi clerics deemed bicycles “The Horse of Satan” in the 1960s. Now with similar logic they refer t...

Rewriting the Story

A novelist looks to the concurrent demonstrations happening across the Arab world and sees people fi...

Failure to Translate

When it comes to learning Arabic, should culture and politics be lost in translation?...

Arab countries looking to burnish their cosmopolitan credentials are opening their doors to Western journalism programs. Qatar hosts a branch of Northwestern University’s journalism school, Amman has a graduate school founded by a Columbia alumna, and Dubai attracts students to its Michigan State program in media management and research, reports Justin D. Martin in The Chronicle of Higher Education (March 28, 2010).

However, Martin notes, these same countries are not exactly paragons of unfettered expression and typically rank low in global assessments of press freedoms by civil liberties watchdog groups such as Freedom House. “Shiny journalism facilities in Doha and Dubai that gleam in the Arabian sun betray the dank realities that Arab journalists in these places endure,” he writes, noting that in Qatar, journalists are prohibited from criticizing Islam, the national government, or the royal family. And the United Arab Emirates, home of Dubai’s Michigan State program, sits in the bottom quarter of Freedom House’s rankings.

Martin is unsparing even of Egypt, where he teaches journalism at the American University in Cairo: “It’s difficult to imbue my students with watchdog instincts and the courage to monitor power when they see dissident Egyptian journalists, bloggers, and activists routinely dragged off to prison.”








Post a comment below.

 

Howard A. Doughty_1
7/15/2010 1:01:16 PM
While it is encouraging to see at least a half-hearted attempt to improve the image of Arab countries in terms of freedom of speech and of the press, and although the cautious remarks about the realities that lie behind these efforts, there is much more to know. Specifically, apart for expressing vague support for liberal principles and sympathizing with the victims of censorship, what concrete actions can be taken to spread democratic values, without running into the accusation of "cultural imperialism" that inevitably follows pleas for free expression. In particular, given the record of western democracies, what can be done to rehabilitate the "image" of the USA and its allies which have so consistently worked in support of corrupt local leaders, installed petty tyrants and chosen the profits of multinational corporations over the interests of the peoples of the Near and Middle East ... and elsewhere.

Howard A. Doughty_1
7/15/2010 11:53:38 AM
While it is encouraging to see at least a half-hearted attempt to improve the image of Arab countries in terms of freedom of speech and of the press, and although the cautious remarks about the realities that lie behind these efforts, there is much more to know. Specifically, apart for expressing vague support for liberal principles and sympathizing with the victims of censorship, what concrete actions can be taken to spread democratic values, without running into the accusation of "cultural imperialism" that inevitably follows pleas for free expression. In particular, given the record of western democracies, what can be done to rehabilitate the "image" of the USA and its allies which have so consistently worked in support of corrupt local leaders, installed petty tyrants and chosen the profits of multinational corporations over the interests of the peoples of the Near and Middle East ... and elsewhere.








Pay Now & Save $5!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $31.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!