Critical article about censorship in Emirates media

Critical article about censorship in Emirates media
Courtney C. Radsch (Pasadena, CA)
- I just came across an interesting article in Al-Akhbar, a Lebanese newspaper, about censorship in the Emirates and the role the governments are or are not playing in improving professionalism and transparency.

Davidson discusses the obstacles to transparency and liberalization as well as the free flow of information posed by the Ministry of Information and Culture, which deals with all sorts of publishing and media distribution. And he points out that although there is a new media law that prevents journalists from being put in jail, the fines are prohibitive and enforces the self-censorship many journalists there were brought up with in the Middle East.

He also  notes the inherent contradiction of having the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority monitor and likely spy on internet usage in addition to blocking unknown numbers of sites even as the crown prince is going on and on about the need for transparency.

He offers as examples the anecdote about the failure of the UAE-based media failed to cover the royal family torture video (a 45-minute video in which Sheikh Issa, brother of the ruler, tortures a man by shoving sand in his mouth, beats him with a nail and board, held down by men in uniform etc). Several governments in the region blocked access to the video on YouTube as they did to the site

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About Cortney C.Radsch

Courtney C. Radsch is a scholar and freelance journalist who focuses on the Arab media and politics. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C. Ms. Radsch is writing her dissertation on the Arab media's influence on foreign policy and has done fieldwork in Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan. Her research has also looked at the ideology and politics behind Islamist extremism. Ms. Radsch is an internationally published journalist and previously worked at the New York Times and the Daily Star in Beirut, Lebanon. She holds an M.S. in International Relations from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and a B.A. in Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley.

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