Friday, October 06, 2006

A Follow Up

Was the American reporter, who warned that the King of Jordan is risking the Shah’s Fate, kicked out of Jordan? Borzou Daragahi clarifies the situation.

A very interesting aspect of the childish strife between Qatar and Jordan (the made-up conflict reflecting an existing tension between the two “countries” over who makes a better American pet), is the role of the media. As Jordanian authorities rallied its columnists, reporters, editors and every (Sagett Tawjihi: Loser) to attack Qatar and its traitorous role through the local outlets (mainly newspapers), Qatar responded with a semi-professional below the belt approach by targeting the King of Jordan with “news” that varied in its level of credibility on its popular outlet AlJazeera. (The latest story was an undated untraceable obscure reference to a Yediot Ahronot reports about Israeli-Saudi meetings hosted by the Jordanian palace!!)

Under the section “The Press Tour” AlJazeera Arabic website referred to and translated large parts of a report entitled “Jordan's King Risks Shah's Fate, Critics Warn” by the L.A. Times staff writer Borzou Daragahi. The substance of the report could be debatable, but the local reaction to it was interesting.

According to the Jordanian daily Al Arab Al Yawm (Arabs Today), and in its (Kawaleess: Behind the Scenes) corner (scroll down): “The American Journalist Bourzou Daragahi who wrote an article offending (literal translation: bad-mouthing) Jordan has left the kingdom three days after he wrote the despicable article. The American from Iranian origin was staying at one of Amman’s fancy hotels and was hoping to make the capital his permanent residence as a reporter for the L.A. Times in Amman”.

The language of the newspaper implied (or could be understood) that the journalist was informed that he is not welcome in Jordan as a result of his offensive article, and hence he left. But given the fact that the world has become a small village, Mr. Daragahi was contacted to clarify the situation:

Can you provide some details about the incident and the method that you were informed that you were “unwelcome” in Jordan (if that is actually what happened). What was the reaction of your employer to the whole issue? What is your personal opinion regarding the situation and if you have any thoughts regarding the Jordanian authorities’ possible reaction to an article within the same lines, if it were written by a Jordanian journalist?

Mr. Dargahali responded:

"1. My article about the challenges facing the Jordanian monarchy was written several weeks ago. The interviews and research were conducted over the course of several months, starting about late spring. The story received the input of many scholars, diplomats and others who were not quoted in the story. It appeared in print on Sunday coincidentally, just before I arrived in Amman on Monday. It’s not something I wrote up quickly, as the column seems to imply.

2. I was in Amman for only 1.5 days – not three days -- while awaiting a previously scheduled flight to Baghdad, where I am bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times. Such stopovers in Amman are routine for us Baghdad-based journalists.

3. No Jordanian official has ever issued a direct or indirect threat against me or ordered me to stay out of the country. Jordanian officials have been nothing but welcoming, friendly and professional to me, even if upset by the story.

4. My status at the Los Angeles Times is unchanged.

5. I currently have made no plans to move to Amman or make it my “permanent residence,” though it is a possibility I would heartily welcome as I really like Jordan and the Jordanian people. The climate, history and dynamism of its people make Jordan a special place.

6. Jordanian law forbids criticism of the monarchy. I imagine a Jordanian journalist writing a similar story for a Jordanian publication could become embroiled in troubles with legal and security institutions. In any case, I don’t think any Jordanian newspaper would publish such an article. That said, Jordan allows for a freer press than many of the other countries in the Middle East such as Syria and Iran."

It turns out that Al Arab Al Yawm (a slightly more “liberal” (if there is such a thing) and credible publication) had at least 5 wrong “facts” in 3 lines, aside from the between the lines implications that are also false.
Also, a quick memo to the government officials: the ostrich approach in dealing with any kind of criticism would not work in the era where sources of information go a little beyond the official radio, the official TV and the official newspaper. The media is everybody’s playground and the barriers between anyone who writes a line and those who read it, is non existent.


Anonymous said...

It's interesting to hear the background on the story directly from the reporter. Did you personally ask him these questions or was this done by someone else?

rami said...

I was interviewed by Daraghi last year during the Muhammad cartoon crisis. He expressed that he found Jordanians more liberal and open than others.

I think his article is an assumption, a speculation, a theory, that can be proved right or wrong.

This is just one way of looking at it.

Abu Shreek said...

I emailed him my inquiries and he was kind enough to respond.
I clearly pointed out that the issue of his report is debatable and is definitely "theorotical", however i do not think that it is a personal opinion since he seems like he did some research on the topic.
Also, judging by the nature of your work,and since you got to talk to him, you may be able to judge his credibility better than I can.
Again, I was most concerened with the local media reaction (actually the lack of) to the story.

Anonymous said...

رئيسية الموقع :
مصر اليوم
اخر مواضيع منتديات مصر اليوم :
ترددات قنوات النايل سات الجديدة
اسعار السيارات فى مصر 2012 بالصور

اسعار السيارات فى مصر 2012

مشاركة ارباح ادسنس

اهلا بكم , اضع لكم موقعى لتتطلعوا عليه

منتديات مصر اليوم هى منتديات عامة تهتم بالكثير من الاشياء المصرية . منتديات مصر اليوم هى منتديات عربية عموما مصرية خصوصا و هى منتديات عامة تهتم بكل ما يهتم به الشباب المصرى من الحوار او النقاش او اخر الاخبار او جديد الصور و الاغانى و الالبومات و الكليبات و الافلام و النكت و الفيديوهات و الموبايلات و تحتوى على اقسام مميزة مثل قسم اللغة الانجليزية و قسم اصحاب المواقع و المنتديات و قسم البرامج و القسم الاسلامى و قسم المرأة و قسم الرومانسية و الرياضة المصرية و الكثير ....
شاهد اقسام المنتدى :
اخبار مصر صور نكت مصرية اغانى قنوات و ترددات اخبار الرياضة المصرية مشاهدة مباريات بث مباشر اسعار السيارات