Tags: Media Bias | jamal khashoggi | free press | arab world | thought control | consulate murder

Khashoggi's Final Column Called for Free Expression in Arab World

jamal khashoggi smiles while posing in tradition saudi garb
Jamal Khashoggi (Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:23 PM

The final column written by Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who is thought to have been murdered by a Saudi hit team in Turkey two weeks ago, argues for a free press and a global platform that allows Arabs to speak freely without fear of retaliation.

Khashoggi wrote for The Washington Post starting in the fall of 2017 and filed his most recent column — his final one, based on news reports out of Turkey — days before he went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

After mentioning the majority of countries in the Arab world were classified as "not free" in a recent international report, Khashoggi argued Arab nations have a long way to go.

"A state-run narrative dominates the public psyche [in the 'not free' countries], and while many do not believe it, a large majority of the population falls victim to this false narrative," he wrote. "Sadly, this situation is unlikely to change."

Khashoggi provided examples of crackdowns on the free press in the Arab world, actions he said prevent citizens from knowing the true facts and coming to their own conclusions on issues.

"As a result, Arab governments have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate," Khashoggi noted. "There was a time when journalists believed the Internet would liberate information from the censorship and control associated with print media. But these governments, whose very existence relies on the control of information, have aggressively blocked the Internet.

"They have also arrested local reporters and pressured advertisers to harm the revenue of specific publications."

"The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power," he wrote later in the column.

Khashoggi ended his piece by calling for the Arab world to have a "modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices. We suffer from poverty, mismanagement, and poor education. Through the creation of an independent international forum, isolated from the influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda, ordinary people in the Arab world would be able to address the structural problems their societies face."

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Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi called for a free press and a global platform that allows Arabs to speak freely without fear of retaliation in his final column for The Washington Post.
jamal khashoggi, free press, arab world, thought control, consulate murder
Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:23 PM
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