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Media and Journalism Specialists at QU share their opinion on Freedom of Press | Qatar University

Media and Journalism Specialists at QU share their opinion on Freedom of Press

2022-06-13
QU

Highlighting the recent events, Media and Journalism specialist at Qatar University (QU) shared their opinion on ‘Importance of Freedom of expression and Free Press’.

A free press is fundamental to a democratic society. It seeks out and circulates news, information, ideas, comment and opinion and holds those in authority to account. The press provides the platform for a multiplicity of voices to be heard.

Dr. Al-Sadiq Rabeh, a professor at the Department of Mass Communication at QU emphasized on the importance of freedom of expression and access to factual and accurate information provided by independent media. Individuals need someone to take their hand and lead them to the truth, and to cultivate critical awareness in order to be decent citizens, in which the wheat is mingled with the fat, the intensity of conflicts in all forms, and the truth becomes a scarce commodity. Committed to societal concerns, eager to pose critical questions, present opposing viewpoints, collect data, and put it all into context.

In her statement, Khawla Mortazavi, Head of Media and Publishing Department at Qatar University said, “Because freedom is an indivisible whole, freedom of opinion and expression, as well as freedom of information and the press, are important components of human liberty.” Before the advent of the new media, media and press freedom was exercised in a variety of ways, ranging from relative to absolute, depending on the nature of the political, social, or religious atmosphere that dominated each of the traditional/classical means.

Mortazavi added: “The new media has benefited by removing all official and fictitious limits on the media function, but it has also opened the door to plenty of undesirable activities in which freedom has been misused to restrict others' liberties. Electronic sites, various media platforms, search engines, personal blogs, discussion forums, social media platforms and networks, applications for sending video and images, electronic databases; containing thousands of news, analyses, and stories in Its validity and credibility, making it necessary for institutions and individuals to investigate and explore the source of every information (before publication) in order to avoid producing a false or misleading message (after publication).”

Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Shami, Professor at Media Department said, “Various parties across the world, including unions, associations, and federations of journalists, international and UN agencies, the most prominent of which is (UNESCO), as well as the media institutions to which the journalists themselves belong, pay attention to the safety of journalists. The safety of journalists preserving their lives is, or should be, a top priority. Whatever the value of the news, in terms of the scoop, and no matter how important the issue is, or the corruption that is exposed, the journalist's life is more important than all of these.”

Pointing out on the recent events which took place, he said, “The risks have recently increased. The lives of journalists in various countries of the world are threatened, especially in countries and regions that are in a state of conflict and war, and hence the need to protect journalists, so that they can continue to perform their humanitarian mission in security and peace. The level of fear, the degree of risks to journalistic work, and the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression. Reluctance to address topics and issues that may represent a direct or indirect threat to their lives.”

Dr. Kamal Hamidou, Associate Professor of Mass Communication at Qatar University said, “From the middle of the twentieth century until the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, diplomatic controversy was often raised in international forums and in the media, and criticism was often directed by international organizations, in what it looked like renewed battles against the repressive practices that were Freedom of the press is targeted here and there, or against the efforts of some countries to direct the media and use it to serve the political goals of ruling elites or specific governments, at the expense of the truth. The origin of this controversy and criticism was often a limited number of liberal countries that always raised the slogan of the sanctity of media freedom. Freedom of expression in the face of restrictions on public freedoms and freedom of the press, especially when it comes to the situation of the press in countries that do not belong to their ideological space.”

Dr. Saadia Malik, Associate Professor at Department of Media, QU said: “Freedom of expression is a human right and the foundation of media freedom, and press freedom is a method to enlightening the mind of the individual human being, as well as the formation of educated public opinion and a free society. As a result, with press freedom comes the need for accountability. The media should be allowed to publish and criticize freely, but it must avoid defamation and incitement to sedition, racism, and bigotry. The freedom of the press is essential for reaching the truth and entrusting it to the public in a transparent manner, by presenting accurate information, facts, and data. At all times and for all people, accuracy and clarity are essential. The only way for the media to be free is for them to have access to information and sources of information. As a result, the media must adhere to legislation that ensures the protection of a journalist's sources, and failing to do so implies that the journalist will move away from a reporter striving to uncover the truth in favor of an informant and expose the source of the information.”

Related Files
  • Dr. Saadia Malik, Associate Professor at Department of Media, QU
  • Khawla Mortazavi, Head of Media and Publishing Department at Qatar University
  • Dr. Al-Sadiq Rabeh, a professor at the Department of Mass Communication at QU