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Posted On: 16 March 2009 08:38 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Media urged to be objective

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There is an urgent need for media to improve the accuracy of factual reporting besides understanding the ground realities in the complex political and social landscape of the Middle East, according to Wadah Khanfar, Director General of Al Jazeera Network. He was speaking at the opening session of the Fourth Aljazeera Forum here yesterday. “We are in a time of great transformation. As the political and social landscape of the Middle East continues to become more complex in the context of a changing multi-polar world, there is a need for media to better understand the realities on the ground.” Addressing the participants of the Aljazeera Forum, Khanfar said the Forum would bring these issues into focus as well as explore and understand the changing face of the region, its place in the global landscape, and how to report it in depth. Well-known journalists, analysts, academics, intellectuals, thinkers and strategists from across the globe including Russia, Europe, China, the United States of America, Turkey, Iran, and the Arab world are taking part in the conference. “We selected the Middle East region for our debate this year in order to develop a positive approach that can help us to do understand issues better concerning this region,” he said, adding that the science of information should go hand-in hand with other branches of sciences like sociology to help one understand different aspects of the story. He added just as Al Jazeera endeavours to achieve journalism of depth - to defy simplicity and generalisations and dig deeper into the reality - the Forum would explore, in depth, the dynamism behind these complex issues along with their impact on the region and beyond. Taking into consideration the uniqueness of the region as it is a cradle of different faiths and known for old civilisations and rich culture, this requires from us to dig deeper into the reality, he added. “Some of our professional colleagues in the West failed to understand the reality behind what is happening in the Middle East region and also failed when the matter is to predict the future trends in the region.” He said the Forum would also explore the emergence of a multi-polar world and the new power players reshaping the political landscape and the dynamism behind these changes along with their impact on the region and beyond. Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani, chairman of the Board of Directors of Aljazeera Network, and renowned journalist Seymour Hersh also addressed the opening session. The participants will examine the ways in which the world of journalism can better reflect and report on these changes, he added.