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Chan'ad Bahraini

(Scomberomorous maculatus Bahrainius)

Note: This page has moved to a new address. Please click on the following URL to get there: http://chanad.weblogs.us/index.php?s=Checking self-interests. Sorry for the trouble.

Checking self-interests

Thursday, February 24, 2005

So fellow blogger (and visiting professor) Scott Waalkes gave a lecture on Tuesday night titled "The Political Economy of US Trade Policy: Lessons for Bahrain". The GDN covered the lecture in their business pages, but as Scott laments in his "semi-official journal" (there's no permalink to the post, so find the one dated Feb 23, 2005), the GDN didn't fully convey what his lecture was about. He tells about his discussion with the GDN reporter:

"Can you put this in simple language for the common man?" the reporter asked.

"Bahrain should build institutions to keep self-interests in check," I said.

"Can you explain what that means for Bahrain? What kind of institutions?" said the reporter.

"OK, two main things. First, representative government, where many different interests could be represented."

"Oh, I don't think we can say that in the newspaper."

Of course, the GDN report didn't mention anything about representative government, but it did retain the very ambiguous statement: "Bahrain... should develop institutions that can limit the damage of self-interests". The report also claims that Scott said "Businesses should therefore shift from being inefficient to efficient"; a completely meaningless statement that was probably put in to make up for all the stuff that they weren't allowed to print. You can read the full GDN article here.

I know that we bloggers are always complaining about the GDN and the local press in general. And I know that some of you readers know much more than I do about editorial self-censorship in the local press. I understand that not only do they have the government breathing down their necks, but also the general public, as has been made apparent by the recent Samira Rajab controversy.

But something's got to give. The Press is exactly one of those "institutions to keep self-interests in check". And until it doesn't allow itself to check self-interests with more honesty, we aren't going to get anywhere.

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4 Responses to 'Checking self-interests'

Blogger Scorpio says:

Reading the GDN you do see some enterprising journalists getting round the editorial line in subtle ways. The most common (and most damaging for the government) is for the GDN to quote an opposition spokesman criticising the government from the left.

Thus the opposition spokesman gets an easy win; readers can contrast his progressive stance without him having to explain his own ideology - which is particularly useful for the Islamists.    

Blogger Chanad says:

Yeah, due credit to some of the GDN journalists who sometimes manage to sneak around the editorial line.

My beef is with the editors at the top who arent willing to let their employees print things which need to be printed (like the need for representative government).    

Blogger SillyBahrainiGirl says:

Representative government?    

Anonymous Bahraini_Student says:
3/03/2005 08:42:00 pm

Representative government? thats too hard to say this in Bahrain. we got a ROYAL government! man i don't recomend any person who's living on Bahraini islands to think of buying any local newspaper! cause they got a useless info.    

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