The media in Qatar has upheld ethical values and principles even while dealing with grave provocations from some foreign quarters, CEO of Qatar Media Corporation HE Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad al-Thani has said.
The local media will not abuse state symbols of other countries and will continue to deal with things rationally, he said while participating in a panel discussion at the fourth annual Gulf Studies Forum organised by the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies on Saturday.
Referring to the abuses of the siege countries, he said they were not limited to state symbols, but extended further to degrading women. "Even Arabs in the pre-Islamic era did not involve women in their differences. The blockading countries broke all barriers in their attack on Qatar."
Sheikh Abdulrahman said such behaviour was limited to some people in the siege countries and was not acceptable to the masses in those nations.
"The way the media in the blockading countries has so far dealt with the Gulf crisis has made them lose a large part of the audience. The criticism of the media in Qatar is directed at the blockaders’ media policies that incite such unethical behaviour."
He said fake accounts on social media were not new a phenomenon, but started in 2012 during the UAE-Qatar crisis.
"Qatar is patient and responds to the accusations and the abuses levelled by others carefully, rationally and reasonably."
The QMC CEO said media and the Gulf crisis cannot be used to criminalise sympathy for Qatar.
He reminded the audience that His Highness the Emir had urged citizens and residents not to insult others and commended them for the high moral ground they kept while dealing with the abuses of the siege countries.
Salah Negm, Director of News at Al Jazeera English, said the media in Qatar should take advantage of the contradictions seen in the coverage by foreign media on Qatar since the start of the blockade.
Taking part in a panel discussion at the forum, Negm stressed that sections of the media in the Arab region, and even from outside, had fallen into the trap of propaganda while reporting on Qatar ever since the unjust siege began on June 5.
A number of media houses, backed by regimes in the blockading countries, have been spreading lies about Qatar, Negm said.
However, the silver lining is that some media organisations in those countries have kept their neutrality and maintained credibility in spite of all compulsions, he said.
Also speaking, top political analyst of the Arab region Marwan Bishara said he has enough reasons to feel journalists covering news for Al Jazeera channel enjoyed much more freedom than their counterparts working for similar channels elsewhere. Bishara singled out a couple of broadcast channels, having relatively good viewership, which he said have become mouthpieces for the propaganda of the countries where they are based.
To substantiate his points, Bishara referred to the positions taken by Al Jazeera while reporting the US aggression on Iraq and also the coverage of the Arab Spring and compared them with the reporting of the other channels.
General Manager of Al Jazeera TV Channel Network Yasser Abu Hilala explained how the network treated news while strictly maintaining adequate media professionalism.
The session was moderated by Ali Sand, Assistant Professor of Department of Islamic Studies at the Qatar University.
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