A panel like this could only have been pulled off in front of an audience with no day-to-day familiarity with how jihad news is reported in the mainstream media. Clearly there was no discussion of indefatigably pro-jihad "journalists" such as Christiane Amanpour, Niraj Warikoo, Bob Smietana, Kari Huus, and their dreary legions of colleagues, all marching in eager lockstep to the Islamic supremacist party line. Clearly there was no discussion of how the mainstream media goes out of its way to obscure the reality of jihad terrorism by identifying its perpetrators as "militants," "insurgents," "youths," etc., and giving no hint, or as little as possible, as to their Islamic identity, motives, and goals.
This kind of panel is in line with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation's goal of deflecting attention away from the reality of Islamic jihad violence by claiming that Western non-Muslims are trying to "link Islam with terrorism" out of "hatred" and "bigotry," as if Islamic jihadists themselves don't make that link on a routine basis. And the goal of that initiative is to intimidate Western countries into banning all criticism of Islam, in line with Sharia prohibitions of blasphemy, and so that the jihad against the West can advance without a murmur of resistance.
"Western view of Mideast tainted by media ‘bigotry’, panel hears," by Paul Crompton for Al Arabiya, December 1:
A lack of adequate reporting of the Middle East and “bigotry” among some Western media outlets leads to a poor understanding of the Arab world, journalism experts told an Al Arabiya News panel on Saturday.
Speaking at the Al Arabiya News Global Discussion forum held in Dubai, four panelists discussed the theme “Lost in translation: Does the West really understand the Middle East?”
Ignorance of the Middle East is partly fuelled by “inherent bigotry” among some Western media outlets, according to Talal al-Haj, Al Arabiya News Channel’s New York and U.N. bureau chief.
Many important Arab issues are not adequately reported in the Western media, al-Haj said.
“There is… no conscience or acknowledgement [of Arab issues in Western media]. There is inherent bigotry within the media,” he added.
While Western perceptions of the Arab world were “hijacked” in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, they created a “paradoxical” situation where many people became interested in learning more about the Middle East, according to George Brock, head of journalism studies at London’s City University.
“[The September 11 attacks] made a lot of people think more about the Middle East than they ever have done before, and a result, they probably know more,” Brock told the Al Arabiya News panel. “So actually, it attacks ignorance… It brings more knowledge. It brings more interchange,” he added.
Western perceptions of Saudi Arabia have been skewed by some who do not represent the kingdom’s people or its government, said Khaled al-Maeena, editor-in-chief of English-language newspaper Saudi Gazette.
“We have allowed these people that don’t want women to drive, we have allowed these people who are the ‘agents of darkness’ to take over, and the fault lies with the media, and the fault lies with the general public at hand,” said al-Maeena.
A lack of knowledge and understanding from the West on Arab issues could also be due to shrinking budgets from U.S. and European news outlets, according to Charles Glass, a former ABC News chief correspondent covering the Middle East.
The debate, moderated by Al Arabiya senior anchor Rima Maktabi, was part of an event held to mark the relaunch of the Al Arabiya News website.
The new site includes a subtitling service that allows English-speaking audiences to follow Arabic news bulletins and programs broadcast by its parent TV channel.