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Posted On: 15 September 2009 04:03 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

Media freedom centre to be revived

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After keeping a low profile for over a couple of months following the controversial exit of its head, the Doha Centre for Media Freedom (DCMF) will be back in action soon. Insiders told The Peninsula that a new Deputy Director General has already assumed her office. “We are working on some important projects and will soon reach out to the media,” an official said yesterday. He termed as baseless reports that said DCMF had closed down after the exit of its former head, Robert Menard. However, the Centre’s official website, which was shut down for a while, is now “under construction”. The DCMF which was launched in October 2008, had been in the throes of a row between its then head Robert Menard, the founder and former secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders, and some senior officials of the Centre. Arguments and counter-arguments flying on both sides seeped into Qatari media, with the local press coming out with a series of stories and editorials which alleged that Menard had insulted the Qatari community with his statements. Qatar’s leading Arabic daily Al Sharq denounced Menard, for expressing alleged “insults” against the country. It said Menard spat venom on Qatar during a chat show on a French channel. “Menard should know there is a red line in media freedom which he cannot cross,” one of the editorials thundered accusing him of insulting Muslims. . The issue was also taken up by civic bodies. At least one mosque sermon lambasted the media centre during Friday prayers.