I didn't know this was happening, but it's a big deal
"The document, drafted and approved in February, represented an intensely controversial bid by Egypt and Saudi Arabia (among others) to impose political controls over satellite television. Annoyed by al-Jazeera and other politically troublesome broadcasters, they proposed a sweeping set of principles which would have in effect internationalized their own domestic systems of censorship and control. While its defenders tried to present it as equivalent to America's FCC, ensuring standards and good taste, few Arab media practitioners or analysts bought the analogy...
"That's why it was heartening to read this morning that the Arab Information Ministers failed to reach agreement on the implementation of the document. According to al-Quds al-Arabi, its backers (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria) were surprised by the reservations expressed by Qatar, Lebanon, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, and Syria. Objections ranged from the political (unacceptable restrictions on political freedom of expression... some, no doubt, felt this more sincerely than others) to the technical (concerns over efforts to establish a common 'dictionary', presumably so that nobody would use the word 'martyrs', that sort of thing) to the economic (the UAE reportedly objected that any censorship authority would hurt business at its media city)."
Labels: Algeria, Arab Media, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates