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Step off my editorial integrity
When CNN launched its new hub in Abu Dhabi, journalists questioned whether the network would bow to the UAE’s censorship laws.
November 8, 2009 3:19 by Dana El Baltaji
So when journalists gathered at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi for the launch of CNN‘s new hub in the UAE capital, I wasn’t surprised when a Gulf News journalist asked the panel the following questions: “Is CNN still hiring for its Abu Dhabi office? And if so, what are qualifications do applicants need to get in?”
“Why, are you looking for a job?” asked CNN International EVP Tony Maddox.
She said no. I didn’t believe her, but that doesn’t matter.
At the launch, CNN executives stressed that their reports would not be censored, which is puzzling given the country’s media law. Until the much-dispute draft media law – which the government published in January 2009 – is passed (who knows when that will be), journalists are bound by a law passed in the 1980s.
One of the restrictions journalists face is reporting on the nation’s royal families. Therefore, given that numerous members of the UAE’s royal families own businesses, not all business stories are fair game.