Briefly, what is journalism?

July 15th, 2012|

george orwell: journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations.

An apt quote from George Orwell which the press in this part of the world in particular need to mull and head. I know that they won’t, but it’s worth reminding them of their duty. Even if one of the thousands of journalists gets a pang on conscience after reading this, then that’s a good step in the right direction.

Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations.

– George Orwell

Peace through Media Award

May 19th, 2012|

A well deserved award for Dr Mansoor Al-Jamri and his paper. Al-Wasat has proven itself the only independent newspaper in Bahrain if not the Gulf and beyond. While I have become more skeptical of late, I tend to give news articles much more credence than any of the other papers in Bahrain and its columns, more thought.

Well done Al-Wasat. Onward and upward and leave the others eating your dust!

Oh the irony! Anwar calls the BBC yellow!

November 2nd, 2011|

Read these gems, but please hold your laughter!

Why the BBC ‘has let down Bahrain’s people’

By Arthur Macdonald, GDN, Posted on » Wednesday, November 02, 2011

MANAMA: The British Broadcasting Corporation moved from being a globally respected news organisation to joining the ranks of the yellow press during the unrest in Bahrain.

That is the view of Akhbar Al Khaleej Editor-in-Chief Anwar Abdulrahman.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Bahrain Chapter of the International Advertising Association meeting yesterday at the InterContinental Regency Bahrain, in Manama, Mr Abdulrahman said that the BBC had let down the people of Bahrain with its coverage.

“I have respected the BBC in the past but they seem to have had a mental change,” he said.

“What they said over the unrest turned them into yellow journalism. I suppose they were in competition with the Sun at that level of coverage and now we have a BBC that we can no longer trust.

“I hope we, as human beings, learn and repair our standards because the coverage of the BBC was damaging to Bahrain in the eyes of the world.”

He added: “The BBC broadcasts its news bulletins in every language. If only a few Bahraini teenagers burn tyres in the streets to hinder traffic, for the BBC this is big news.

“However, when the house of the most distinguished Bahraini woman journalist Sameera Rajab was attacked with Molotov cocktails last week, the BBC did not utter a word.

“I seriously question its integrity.”

To illustrate the differences in perception between the Arab world and the West, Mr Abdulrahman related the incident of a Bahraini student staying in the UK who one day found that the lady serving them in the cafeteria had disappeared.

On enquiring, he was told that she was facing some family problems. So he decided to visit her.

“Thank you for coming to visit me,” she said. “I am facing enormous problems. My husband has run away with another woman and, secondly, my 18-year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant. These are facts of life I have to face.”

Suddenly she started crying and said: “But what is really tragic is that my dog has died.”

I don’t particularly give a damn for Anwar Abdulrahman being at the head of not one but two so-called “newspapers” in Bahrain. What I do give a damn about; however, is that an organisation like the IAA not only gives him the time of day but provides him with a platform from which he spreads his filth. The IAA must’ve been desperate for a mediocre comedian to entertain them during one of their lunches. What they have done with him being there is miserably failed their members and wasted yet another opportunity to raise the level of their Chapter and its membership with something worthwhile to listen to and learn from.

This joker entertained his crowd by branding an ancient and one of the most respected media edifices in the world as yellow journalists, then he goes on to contend that “the coverage of the BBC was damaging to Bahrain in the eyes of the world“. I suppose on Planet Moron™, in which he is a founding member, that would be a believable contention, on Planet Earth; however, it just leads to hilarious, rolling on the floor, leg-cicking mirth. What does damage this country’s reputation in the eyes of the world is him and his likes obfuscating the truth and creating such tall stories to support their unsupportable positions. The damage that Anwar Abdulrahman & Co have done to this country is untold, and time, being the merciless judge it is, will one day serve them their deeds in life or chiseled on their headstones for eternity.

But Anwar being on a roll doesn’t stop at those ridiculous contentions of course, oh no, he continues by insulting the Western world in general and the the UK in particular by what he believes to be a “funny and poignant story” which he typically attributes it to yet another of his imaginary sources to bolster his tenuous position.

Journalism? Ethics? Truth? Humanity? Those facets are as far away from him as they could possibly be, but in Planet Moron™, he’s the dog’s bollocks!

Reprieve for Al-Wasat

May 8th, 2011|

It’s with pleasure that I read that Al-Wasat‘s investors have decided to rescind their previous decision to close down the paper. The board of directors has now decided to continue publishing the paper under their new management.

Regardless of my personal apprehensions on its current editorial direction, and my sadness for the forced resignation by its very much respected founder and editor-in-chief Dr. Al-Jamri, I wish Al-Wasat, its journalists and professional staff the best of luck and hope that they will continue to push boundaries and establish new journalistic grounds for the whole of Bahrain to benefit from.

Punishments

March 21st, 2011|

Punishments come in various guises, but the worst of those are the collective and indiscriminate ones.

I think we’re seeing that today levied against the most respected newspaper in Bahrain. Al-Wasat comes to our doors with just 20 pages, and virtually no advertisements whatsoever.

If this carries on, not only tens of families will lose their livelihoods, but much more importantly, a balanced and professional news source disappears for the island to be left with a bunch of ubiquitous yes men.

Is this a harbinger of things to come?

Do the math.