Say something nice, or nothing at all
A Saudi government body is seeking legal action against journalists and bloggers who “defame” the commission. The move has outraged the kingdom’s media industry.
May 25, 2009 2:36 by Omaima Al-Fardan
He also questioned why the commission is seeking judicial recourse that takes a long time and added that if the commission presses charges against members of the press, then the media would also take legal recourse against the commission.
“The ongoing reforms in the judicial system would open the door for all to seek justice,” he said, adding that the commission must be ready to face legal challenges as more people would approach courts seeking justice against the commission.
A local reporter, who sought anonymity, said the commission “gives us a hard time as reporters.” He said he has been reporting incidents involving the commission and also interviewing people who have accused the commission of harming them. “When any incident takes place we call them for their side of the story. But they generally do not give us statement on the spot. We have to run the story based on what eyewitnesses say. Whenever the commission issues a report in the matter, even three or four days later, we run that as well,” he said, adding this could be avoided if the commission would cooperate more.
“If it wants its statements to be published the same day, then it would be helpful if they responded immediately rather than not answering reporters’ phone calls or taking several days to respond,” he said.
Ultimately, many feel that if the dichotomy in the commission’s speech and action is done away with then there could be better coordination and cooperation between the body and the public.
First seen in Arab News.