Qatar media’s response to siege praised

 04 Dec 2017 - 11:07

Qatar media’s response to siege praised
Qatar Media Corporation Chief Executive Officer H E Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad Al Thani at the event.

The Peninsula

Qatar Media Corporation Chief Executive Officer Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad Al Thani has praised the way in which the Qatari press handled the siege imposed on Qatar as well as their commitment to the principles of credibility and refraining from attacking symbols.

Speaking during his participation in a session held on the sidelines of the fourth session of Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies Forum, the CEO said there is no doubt that a certain ceiling or sensitivity to dealing with the news related to the GCC countries was there because of the nature of the Gulf fabric. “We were shocked by the unjust blockade imposed by the siege countries on the State of Qatar,” he said, adding that “the State and the Qatari media have committed themselves to the principles: credibility and refraining from attacking symbols.” 

He thanked all media professionals for their efforts in this regard, describing the media figures as the real heroes.

The Chief Executive Officer pointed to the paradox between the use of the media in the State of Qatar and in the siege countries, pointing out the siege countries considered the media war as their goal and that their real victory lies in convincing the Arab and international public by directing abuses and accusations against the State of Qatar. They used all that they can including producing offensive songs and attacking people, he said, adding that all these things led the siege countries to lose much of public opinion support.

He stated that the State of Qatar has not only considered responding to the abuses against it from the siege countries, but also prioritised giving sufficient information to the public to assess the situation, explaining that in the early stage of the crisis, the State of Qatar received support from all. This support was emotional but turned into convictions after the Qatari media gave and presented adequate information about the events along with the appearance of many Qatari officials who explained the positions and the nature of previous differences.

He pointed out that it was impossible to talk about the media and the Gulf crisis without talking about a very important point, which is the problem of avoiding sympathy with the State of Qatar, praising in this context the principle pursued by the State of Qatar led by Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani who encouraged citizens and resident in Qatar not to insult or abuse the siege countries. The siege countries criminalised anyone who showed sympathy with the State of Qatar, and this was not the case here as many brothers in Qatar supported Saudi Arabia or Bahrain and no action was taken against them, he said.    

Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad Al Thani pointed out that the abuses from the siege countries against the State of Qatar were not limited to symbols but also included people, he said, adding that this does not mean that the communities in the siege countries accept this. It is media policies and not a social approach and this led the siege countries to lose a large segment of public opinion community.

He pointed out that the State of Qatar adopts an ethical media approach that prevents such abuses. When the Qatari media is allowed to criticize they criticize only media policy that allows and incites to engage in such a matter, and all Arab and Gulf societies do not accept this.

He noted that the State of Qatar has not only responded to the abuses, rumours and accusations against it by the siege countries, but also listened to their accusations and analysed them and then responded to them in a rational manner. The Qatari media response was far greater and better than that of the blockade countries, he added.

He pointed out that the siege countries were quick to level accusations against the State of Qatar that led them to make many errors. They accused Qatar of supporting Ahwaz and at the same time of supporting Iran, and also of supporting Israel and Hamas, he said, adding the Qatari media managed to use this matter professionally and highlight the weaknesses and shortcomings in the charges that are levied against the State.

He stressed that the Qatari media enjoy a strong position as they are owned by companies, giving it a degree of media freedom, unlike the Gulf newspapers, most of which belong to governments. The participants emphasized the important role played by the Qatari media in dealing with the crisis of the unjust siege imposed on the State, as well as the importance of dealing with crises professionally and pursuing accurate media content, in addition to avoiding the use of accusations and false news to achieve a specific purpose.