The Press: Arab and Western Perspectives

The Press: Arab and Western Perspectives

  • 12 March 2014

Journalism is not rocket science, but it does involve two things: news and opinion. Although a news story must be true, opinion is the sacred right of its owner. A professional journalist in the West usually retains the material used in writing the news story; be it an exclusive interview, press conference or a symposium. I went to courts in London several times, and the first question I heard is, did you keep the notes for the published story?

On the other hand, opinion is sacred; I can criticize any official and accuse him of failure and inaction, but if I overstep that and say he is a ‘thief’, then this is an information to be proved in court by answering the questions. What did he steal? From whom? Who took the money? Whoever loses the case will have to pay the lawyers’ fees of the two parties, as well as financial compensation for whoever wins the case as decided by the judge. However, I found that to win a lawsuit based on a false charge in the United States is more difficult. There, freedom of speech is guaranteed by the first amendment of the US constitution; hence the defendant needs to prove that the charge is false, and then prove that the charge has caused him material harm, such as losing employment or a contract with the state, in order to get a compensation.

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Wednesday 12 March 2014

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Wednesday 12 March 2014

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