Different Journalist, Same Crime

December 9, 2013

Much has been said and written about the assassination of journalist Kawa Garmiyani. But fundamentally, the killing has two aspects: First, this is a normal criminal case, which needs a response from the government and authorities. Second, the attack is on press freedom in Kurdistan. If the authorities are taking what happened seriously, the...
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A Legislation that Would Take Kurdistan to the Next Level

August 2, 2013

Two weeks ago, Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani signed into law a landmark legislation passed by parliament that guarantees the right to information. According to the legislation, failure by public institutions and officials to provide information is punishable by the law. Although the penalties are inadequate, the legislation itself provides strong incentive for institutions...
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Are Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya Models Anymore?

July 15, 2013

Last month, at a media training session for a number of Syrian local council press officers, I asked each of the participants to name the favorite television channels on their satellite receivers. The unanimous answer was, Al Jazeera. This reminded me of my early days of training journalists in Baghdad in late 2003. Back...
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A Dysfunctional Relationship, a Necessary Partnership

May 30, 2013

The relationship between politics and media in Iraqi Kurdistan has oscillated between bad and unhealthy. Neither political interests nor the media have managed to overcome their disabilities, failing to create a healthy relationship that would shape citizens who are educated, informed and aware of the place and region where they live. By political interests,...
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Reporters with Borders

February 12, 2013

The hysterical reaction against NRT television reminded me of the Muslim outrage to cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. For those who don’t know what happened: During a live call-in show on NRT, a caller tried to insult the late Mustafa Barzani, regarded by many Kurds as the father of the Kurdish nation in modern...
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The Closure of Baghdadiya in Iraq: Maliki’s Lack of Common Sense

December 18, 2012

What did Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki gain by ordering the closure of Cairo-based news channel Al-Baghdadiya’s offices in Iraq? The Iraqi interior ministry which is directly controlled by Maliki, said over the weekend that the popular channel’s Iraq operation was being closed down, “Because it was not bound by the Media Commission’s regulations.”...
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