News / Middle East

Iraqi Journalists Battle to Report Freely

Iraqi Journalists Facing More Obstaclesi
X
March 25, 2013 3:36 PM
Media activists say Iraqi journalists are facing increasing levels of harrasment, and that new laws are needed to protect them and safeguard fair and unbiased reporting. VOA's Scott Bobb reports from Baghdad, and Sebastian Meyer is the videographer.

Media activists say Iraqi journalists are facing increased levels of harrassment, and that new laws are needed to protect them and safeguard fair and unbiased reporting.

Scott Bobb
Transcript of video:
Journalists in Iraq face more and more obstacles to their reporting, according to media activists. Nevertheless, some media outlets continue to fight for a free and unbiased press.
 
Live from a studio at al-Baghdadia TV, Murtada Mohamed Ali is reporting on how journalists are being prevented from covering a Baghdad cultural festival.
 
Al-Baghdadia focuses a great deal on political events, such as upcoming local elections and corruption. Manager Mohamed Hanoon Kareem says that, as a result, the station has been shut down twice in the past three years.
 
“Many on our staff have been arrested and harassed by security forces," he says. "And sometimes when something happens, like an explosion, they won't let us cover it. Then sometimes they let us because it is not important to them.”
 
Ziad al-Ajili heads the media watchdog, Journalistic Freedoms Observatory. He says journalists now must obtain numerous permissions to cover even routine events.
 
“We publish a report on media freedom every year," he says. "This year's is the worst ever. The government has made new rules to pressure journalists and prevent us from working freely, especially the foreign media.”
 
Journalists face harassment by security forces as seen in this video by an Iraqi reporter who filmed himself being beaten while saying repeatedly that he was a journalist.
 
Activists say more than 140 journalists have been killed in Iraq in the past 10 years, one of the highest casualty rates in the world.
 
Dibras al-Ma'mouri founded the Iraqi Women Journalists Forum. She says female Iraqi reporters face even more challenges, from security forces as well as from colleagues.
 
“In Iraqi society they look at women as a lowly thing, not a working human being," she says. "They harass them. They try to prevent them from working. They think the woman was made just for housework and nothing else.”
 
Kareem of Baghdadia-TV says objective reporting by Iraq's journalists is also rare.
 
“About 90 percent of Iraqi journalists follow some ideological, political or sectarian opinion," he says. "A few are working objectively. They are the ones who face problems with the government.”
 
Media activists say laws are needed to allow journalists to work freely in Iraq and to protect them.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Srg. Bill Morton USMC from: USA
March 25, 2013 1:21 PM
do you have any idea how many of us died building these green parks in Iraq??

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid