In a 6 Feb. New York Times’ article about the major players in Arab media, the writer made sure to mention Jordan’s al- Ghad newspaper along with giant dailies like al-Hayat, al-Ahram and al-Sharq al-Awsat.
This is how the New York Times described the paper:
Al Ghad: This new, independent newspaper is making waves in Jordan, taking on the established government-owned papers. Al Ghad is trying to cater to Jordan’s young elite by writing about controversial issues – like education and democratic reform – of interest to Arab baby boomers. The paper strives for a balanced editorial page. For instance, it has published letters from the Israeli ambassador to Jordan, something other Arab newspapers are very rarely willing to do.
Frankly, I have not really been following al-Ghad lately, but now after reading this I think I should. A while back I reviewed the very first issue of the paper but I’m not sure how the paper has been developing since. Any al-Ghad followers out there? Is it really catering to “Jordan’s young elite” as the Times’ article claims?
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Thanks for that Fred. We put it up locally for the record.
Wow, this was disturbing on at least two levels: for what it says (or rather confirms) about the mentality of the Jordanian press, and what it confirms about press freedom.
During my three years working for Jordanian press I saw that control relax actually. So I’m just answering your question generally when you ask “what about Aardvark.” I’m saying he’s not off the mark regarding issues with the press, which may be new to him. And, as you note, there are elements of what he chooses to report and his analysis that rings just as you say.
The wife and I were discussing this before. I get the impression that some folks think you can just cast out the Freedoms and expect democracy to come floating back. The development of democracy is generally an ugly process isn’t it? And it sounds like the three of us are in agreement that going down the path that PAC is marching is the wrong way. Those guys love to grandstand.
PAC certainly has a point. But that point is made again and again. Not nearly as much effort is put into supporting their members, most of whom have to belong and pay dues in order to work. That’s a clear problem right there. It’s just off the mark to think that the “guidance” that’s occurring in developing the country is simply evil in every step. Some controls must be in place, else chaos reigns under the guise of “freedom.”
Thank you for your kind words Fred. Since we are still discussing Al-Ghad, I’m compelled to say that I’m starting to change my view about this paper after the outrageous article that they published today…Check my last blog entry to know what I’m talking about.
I’m actually going to translate the whole article into English just to expose their irresponsible journalism.
As for the professional association issue, as I said before I hope these people stick to what they were created to do in the first place: care for their members. Leave the politics to the political party system. I’m fully with the government on this.
Abu Aardvark and others use big words like “clamping down on the freedom of expression” and other provocative jargon, as do some members of PAC, without really knowing what’s going on or to catch the eye and ear of the media. They want to portray what is going on as “another Middle Eastern country with a poor record human rights record,” which is totally condescending and far from the truth.