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Saudi’s media debate
Senior media executives in the kingdom argue about the freedom of media: what is acceptable, and what is not.
October 25, 2009 1:13 by Omaima Al-Fardan
According to Muhammad Al-Tunisi, editor in chief of Okaz, LBC’s controversial “Bold Red Line” program is unethical and unacceptable. Al-Tunisi also believes there are conditions attached to the freedom given to media in the kingdom, “the most important of which is the preservation of the social fabric and maintaining of work ethics without shaking up the stable values.”
Al-Tunisi says that no ruling should be issued against Al-Majd channel before carefully analyzing what it transmits. “We should deal with the channel in a professional and systematic manner,” he says.
Saud Katib, a columnist specializing in electronic media and a lecturer at the College of Information at King Abdul Aziz University, says Saudi society has split into two extremities on either side of the social spectrum in light of receding economic conditions. This, in turn, has influenced some media to function in a manner that supports either position. Katib said this was apparent in the handling of the Lebanese space channels as they tackled Saudi societal issues, described as “digging in the garbage of this society.” He opposed the closure of the LBC’s office, claiming it was a pioneer in the Saudi market.