Sunday, June 29, 2014

Iraq's Sectarian Media

Daoud al-Ali writes about how Iraq's sectarian media is inflaming the crisis:
While some media organisations were strident in their support of the fight against Sunni Muslim extremists, others described them as revolutionaries who were taking part in a popular uprising. It quickly became clear that the Iraqi media was giving in to sectarian sentiments, just as the Iraqi people on the street were...
Over the past two to three weeks it has become quite normal for Iraqis to spend two hours watching news programmes which basically feature a lot of battle songs, while the presenter answers calls from Iraqis who were volunteering to fight the Sunni Muslim extremist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS...
On the “other side” of the media, the opposite was happening. Various media organisations began to promote the idea that the extremist fighters were revolutionaries and that they were leading a popular uprising. These media organisations began to celebrate the “liberation” of Mosul...
Over the past week or so, many local journalists have started saying that they were pressured to cover the news in a biased way. 
His whole article is worth reading.  An academic study of the Iraqi media, Media Practice in Iraq, was written by Ahmed K. al-Rawi.

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