Sunday, October 05, 2003

Our Media Bias

Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi

Whenever you read or hear about a decision taken, or an event discussed, in our media you usually do not find views that dissent from generally accepted opinion.
When the consensus changes the arguments of commentators tend to change their opinion accordingly.
As far as our readers are concerned, they see us change lanes without any warning or explanation.
They see how we use double standards in our attitudes toward similar situations. While, for example, we show our sympathy toward Muslims in Britain or Algerians in France and criticize the Western media because it attributes every problem in these countries to our brethren we, at the same time attribute every failure in our society to the presence of “foreigners”.
This is one of many examples that clearly shows media bias and the absence of the opposite opinion.
Many writers here deal with our problems as if they were imported. They simply forget that the fundamentals of our media message are based on our Islamic and Arab virtues, which state that every person is responsible for his or her own actions. The crime of a foreigner is blamed on his whole community.
We have forgotten that the principles of international economics and free market systems ensure the need to open doors to competition in which only the better and the more competent win. Unfortunately, we are trying to force the employment of our less experienced youth in positions that require more experience and efficiency.
The result is that we end up with a stagnant economy and rising unemployment rates.
One of the essential characteristics of a sophisticated media is its balance of coverage to include all sides of an argument. Balanced newspapers, therefore, insist on finding dissenting opinions. This is the only way to ensure justice, include all sides of the debate, and enrich and enliven the national dialogue.
— Arab News Opinion 5 October 2003

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