01/03/2006 Media banned from reporting on US Congress
vote on Pakistani nuclear scientist
Text of Online report headlined: "Media stopped from
publishing 9/11 report" by Pakistani newspaper Daily Times
website on 1 March
Islamabad: A special sub-committee of the National Assembly's
Public Accounts Committee has prohibited the media from publishing
changes in the 9/11 Commission report and details of voting
in the US Congress regarding Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan.
Foreign Secretary Riaz M Khan briefed the media on voting
in the US Congress regarding Dr AQ Khan, but requested them
not to publish details of the incident on grounds that it would
be "detrimental to the national interest".
Source: Daily Times website, Lahore, in English 1 Mar 06
15/01/2006 Afghanistan: Two new TV channels start transmission
in western province
Text of report in English by Afghan independent Pajhwok news
Herat, 15 January: Two new private television channels in
the name of Saqi and Hera have launched transmissions in western
Saqi started transmissions on Friday [13 January] with a four-hour
broadcast daily. Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News, director of
the channel Tariq Nabi said although they lacked enough funding
and workforce, the channel would gradually progress. With no
presenter and anchor, Saqi's programmes have been aired with
text appearing on screen before the start of a particular segment.
Regarding his future plans, Nabi said he would run the channel
by employing students of journalism, law and sharia faculties
of the Herat University. He said funds would be needed to extend
transmissions to all districts.
The other TV channel named Hera has six-hour transmissions
a day. It has two anchors. Najibullah, Hera manager, told this
reporter the channel was officially launched after broadcasting
programmes on experimental basis for three weeks.
Wali Shah Bahra, Director of the Information and Culture Department,
said Saqi TV had registered with the government, but the other
had yet to get a licence.
Presently, four private TV channels, including Tolo, Aina,
Ariana and Sada-i-Ghorian, are airing programmes in Herat Province.
Source: Pajhwok Afghan News website, Kabul, in English 1030
gmt 15 Jan 06
17/01/2006 Iranian president removes ban on CNN after
Text of report by Iranian TV on 17 January
In a letter addressed to the Ministry of Culture and Islamic
Guidance, President Ahmadinezhad announced that CNN network
may continue its activities in Iran.
In his memorandum, the president stressed that distortion
of news is against media's mission to protect people's right
of access to information, but because this network has apologized,
its office in Tehran may continue its activities.
This American network had blatantly distorted the president's
statement during his press conference on Saturday [14 January].
This network had misinterpreted the president's statement that
all nations should be given the right to access "nuclear
technology" into their right to access "nuclear weapons".
Source: Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran Network 1,
Tehran, in Persian 0430 gmt 17 Jan 06
21/01/2006 Afghan media seek clarification as TV channel
fined for unislamic shows
Text of report by Afghan independent Tolo TV on 21 January
[Presenter] A number of people working in the mass media have
expressed concern about the working practices of the commission
set up to look into violations of the law on the mass media,
and want the commission to give a clear definition of the standards
on the basis of which the media should carry out their activities.
[Correspondent] Some media employees in Afghanistan have reacted
to the fact that the [private] Afghan TV channel was fined by
the commission set up to look into violations of the law on
the mass media. This commission, chaired by Minister of Information,
Culture and Tourism Sayed Makhdum Rahin, charged the channel
with broadcasting what the commission called anti-Islamic images
Jawed Farhad, editor-in-chief of Panjara weekly, says this
measure by the commission is a clear violation of freedom of
speech. Speaking to Tolo television about the issue, he said:
[Jawed Farhad] In my opinion, it is not right if personal
interests or relations are raised on the pretext of Islamic
values or violation of these values.
[Correspondent] Cable TV channels were also banned for a while
in Kabul last year.
Speaking to Tolo television via telephone, Ahmad Shah Afghanzai,
director of the Afghan TV channel, said he was not aware of
the measure taken by the commission.
[Ahmad Shah Afghanzai] They did not tell us for which programme
we were fined or when that programme was broadcast. It is also
not clear to what extent the commission has the authority to
fine the media without a judicial ruling from the court.
Source: Tolo TV, Kabul, in Dari 1330 gmt 21 Jan 06
15/01/2006 Afghan governor urges improvement in radio,
Text of report by Afghan state-run newspaper Etefaq-e Eslam
on 15 January
Alhaj Sayed Hosayn Anwari, the governor of Herat, met heads
of departments and staff of the provincial administration yesterday.
Deputy Governor Mir Abdol Khaleq was also present at the meeting.
At this meeting, which was held at the provincial administration
headquarters yesterday morning, the governor briefed officials
on the result of his visit to Kabul and meetings with the central
government officials. He also ordered the officials to improve
Among other issues, the governor ordered officials to improve
the quality of media sources in Herat, including Herat TV, newspapers
and other sources. The governor also had a critical view of
Herat TV and radio broadcasts and urged the related officials
to involve religious scholars and social foundations to commission
programmes, particularly on the occasion of religious, national
and historical events. He added that the officials should broadcast
programmes in line with religious values, the country's constitution
and national and religious glories.
Source: Etefaq-e Eslam, Herat, in Dari 15 Jan 06
02/01/2006 Iran Press: Columnist warns of dangers of
student internet use
Text of column by Seyyed Mohammad Mehdi Musavi on IIranian
newspaper Hemayat website on 2 January
"The youths have increased their misuse of the Internet."
Sometime ago the minister of health and medical treatment announced
in an interesting statement that: "95 per cent of the students
in dormitories and educational centers misuse the Internet."
He added: "It is not very wise to increase the Internet
servers in the universities without the necessary knowledge."
Dr Kamran Baqeri-Lankarani also said: "Many of the universities
and student dormitories are ignoring the libraries, and, considering
the fact that an increase in the students' access to electronic
sources usually does not improve their educational condition,
this should be looked into; and there is no doubt that using
domestic Internet networks is more useful.
Although the minister of health might have exaggerated the
figures mentioned above, the truth is that unfortunately a great
amount of the country's student population does not use the
Internet as a medium which is related to the academic field,
and the Internet should be used correctly and scientifically.
The truth is that the Internet is not like a satellite, the
misuse of which can be prevented, because nowadays anyone who
has a computer and a telephone line can have access to the Internet.
Filtering has not been very successful in preventing the infiltration
of immoral and unsuitable sites of the West among the country's
youths and especially the students. In other words, the Internet
and especially misusing it has become like a virus which has
become more and more immune to the anti-viruses injected into
it over the years.
Some of the most important Internet dangers which strongly
threaten our youths are encouraging them to view pornography,
changing their sexual pattern and consequently weakening their
religious beliefs, showing the culture and life style of the
West as superior and... We cannot deny the fact that nowadays
there are hundreds and hundreds of immoral sites in the world
and even inside our country, sites that advertise homosexuality,
sexual sadism, illegitimate relations and... Enticing sexual
feelings by pornographic stories, pictures and films from the
famous Hollywood actors and actresses are all in all elements
used to advertise Western culture. This is the reason why it
is right to say that the West wants to use its media power in
order to entrap the world in modern slavery, a goal which, if
achieved, will lead the world to a state of no identity and
will damage identities and pure human civilizations.
We should not forget that the Internet is among the consumers'
utilities which, if misused, will change from a potential opportunity
to a practical threat for youths. Therefore it is the duty of
high-ranking officials of the country, especially the university
administrators and officials, to keep a very keen eye on this
matter. It seems that the administrators should gain complete
knowledge of the matter and then use this knowledge to foster
policies that could help block this increasing wave. There is
no doubt that if the officials are alert today and also inform
the students of the positive and negative aspects of the Internet,
they can help solve a great number of such problems. It goes
without saying that if all the people, from the officials to
the people, are aware of the illegal use of the Internet in
society and react to this problem in time, there can be hope
about its elimination. Otherwise, we should expect to see more
of its consequences in the future.
Source: Hemayat website, Tehran, in Persian 2 Jan 06
23/01/2006 Iraq/USA: Iraqi journalist freed "without
Excerpt from press release by the New York-based Committee
to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on 23 January
New York: The US military freed an Iraqi television cameraman
on Sunday [22 January] after holding the journalist without
charge for nearly eight months. Samir Mohammed Noor, a freelancer
working for Reuters, was released from detention in Camp Bucca
in southern Iraq.
The military continues to hold without charge at least one
journalist in Iraq and another at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba. The Committee to Protect Journalists [CPJ] called
on the US military to disclose evidence of criminal wrongdoing
against the journalists still in custody or release the two
Iraqi troops arrested Noor, 30, at his home in the northern
town of Tal Afar. A US military spokesman initially told Reuters
that Noor was "an imperative threat to the coalition forces
and the security of Iraq", but US officials did not disclose
any evidence supporting the detention. Initially held at Abu
Ghraib prison, Noor was later transferred to Camp Bucca. Noor
was freed without charge, and a US spokesman told news organizations
that the military had no comment on the case.
Two other journalists working for Reuters, cameraman Ali al-Mashhadani
and reporter Majed Hameed, were freed without charge on 15 January
as part of a prisoner release that included about 500 Iraqi
detainees. They were each held for several months.
"Samir Mohammed Noor should not have been jailed for
eight months without charge, explanation, or due process,"
CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said. "The military owes
an explanation for this open-ended and unsubstantiated detention.
US officials should also credibly explain the basis for the
other detentions or release those journalists immediately."
The United States rose to sixth among countries jailing journalists
worldwide - holding at least five - when CPJ conducted its annual
census of imprisoned journalists on 1 December 2005. Two journalists
remain in US custody today. [Passage omitted: Details of CBS
News cameraman Abdul Ameer Younis Hussein and Al-Jazeera assistant
cameraman Sami Muhyideen al-Haj]
Source: Committee to Protect Journalists press release, New
York, in English 23 Jan 06
24/01/2006 Analysis: Pakistani cable operators oppose
ban on Indian TV channels
Editorial analysis by Steve Metcalf of BBC Monitoring Media
Services on 24 January
Cable television subscribers in Pakistan have experienced
some disruption to their viewing schedules in the past month.
It began when the authorities ordered a halt to the transmission
of some 35 foreign channels, mainly Indian. Cable service providers,
angry at the loss of revenue, have responded with temporary
suspensions of all services and a block on two private Pakistani
The dispute began on 23 December, when the Pakistan Electronic
Media Regulatory Authority reminded cable operators that they
were "only authorized to air channels which have been licensed
or permitted by PEMRA". Equipment was seized from cable
providers in raids in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, although the
APP news agency reported on the 24th that the equipment had
APP quoted a PEMRA spokesman as saying that 35 channels which
had not been granted "landing rights" in Pakistan
could not be shown by cable operators. They included a number
of popular Indian sports and entertainment channels from the
Star, Zee and Sony stables.
28/01/2006 Iranian commentator reacts to Dutch ban
on two satellite TV stations
Text of report by Iranian TV on 28 January
[Presenter] The Netherlands has banned the transmission of
programmes by Sahar and Al-Manar international TV stations.
What is the true message of this measure? Let me draw your attention
to this news magazine's political commentary:
[Esma'ili, radio and TV commentator] The recent step taken
by the Dutch government, banning the transmission of programmes
by Sahar TV, from Iran, and Al-Manar TV, from Lebanon, on the
pretext of their approaches, involving revelations about the
Zionist regime - in fact, if we compare this to the claims made
by the West about establishing a free flow of information and
freedom of speech and condemning news censorship and the imposition
of restrictions in the arena of the media, it shows very well
the level of commitment that Western countries have to these
Another point that arises here, in my view, is the West's
supportive approach towards the Zionist regime. In fact, this
kind of approach puts the West blatantly behind the Zionist
regime and against the oppressed nation of Palestine; just as
we saw that, in the recent elections of the Palestinian nation,
they were unable to accept the victory of the Palestinian nation
in voting for Hamas and they have taken firm stances against
In fact, by making an exploitative use of slogans such as
the free flow of information or freedom of speech or the condemnation
of restrictions on the news, the West tries to pursue its own
aims. And any medium that goes against these aims by adopting
independent approaches - whether by trying to make revelations
about the crimes of the Zionist regime or Western countries
or by failing to fall within the framework of their interests
and aims or by failing to fall under the banner of the Zionist
lobby - such media naturally become subject to news restrictions.
Their stations [transmissions] are cut off and they will not
[be allowed to] have facilities for broadcasting programmes
in the West.
In fact, with this approach, Western countries are, in practice,
creating news restrictions and censorship in the West.
Source: Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran Network 1,
Tehran, in Persian 1802 gmt 28 Jan 06
28/01/2006 Kuwaitis protest Danish press "offence"
against Islam, urge economic boycott
Text of report in English by Kuwaiti news agency Kuna website
Kuwait, 28 January: Hundreds of Kuwaitis staged an over one-hour
sit-in-strike Saturday [28 January] opposite to the Danish consulate
headquarters in the capital denouncing an offence by a Danish
newspaper against the Prophet of Islam Muhammad, peace and blessings
be upon him, and urged people to boycott Danish products in
Several Kuwaiti religious figures and MPs expressed deep displeasure
over the Danish press offence against the prophet, calling for
putting an end for such violations that flagrantly harm the
feelings of billions of Muslims all around the globe.
The strikers also urged the Danish government to apologize
to all Muslim nations and to stop abusing the prophet and the
Islamic faith in general.
They also urged people, local firms, union of cooperative
societies' supermarkets and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry
here to boycott all Danish products and to send condemnation
notices to the Danish government for not taking any action on
the newspapers' flagrant offence against Muslims all over the
In the meantime, Chairman of the National Union for Kuwait
Students, that organized the event, Ahmad al-Kandari, handed
over a condemnation notice to the Danish consul in Kuwait on
In return, the consul handed over a letter of apology to Al-Kandari,
affirming that the Danish premier had denounced, in an earlier
statement, any statement, action, or an expression intending
to deform the image of a particular group of people based on
their faith or ethnicity.
Earlier today, several Kuwaiti MPs called on Danish and European
institutions to take legal action against the disdaining of
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) [peace and blessings be upon him] in
accordance with related international laws.
Source: Kuna news agency website, Kuwait, in English 1830
gmt 28 Jan 06
24/01/2006 Afghan daily calls for strict control over
Text of editorial headlined "A justified act by the commission
to review violations of mass media law" published by Afghan
newspaper Cheragh on 24 January
The recent measure taken by the commission to review violations
of the mess media law, led by Minister of Information, Culture
and Tourism Dr Sayed Makhdum Rahin, is justifiable according
to Cheragh daily but it is not enough. The commission fined
Afghan TV more than 50,000 afghanis [equivalent to 1,000 dollars]
for screening a lewd film which provoked our people.
The Afghan people have been able to breathe easily for the
past four years after the period of mental torture and cultural
stagnation exercized by the Taleban and thus they have been
able to present their thoughts and art to their readers and
audience with the help of the mass media law.
Some people exploited differences of opinion and this holy
medium was used as a weapon for beating rivals and playing with
the emotions of the people which is really harmful for our newly-formed
The visual media, namely TV channels, would insult the constitution
of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan directly or indirectly
by ignoring Islam and the culture of Afghan society and in this
way they would ridicule the needs of our society which are promoting
culture and a civil society based of Islamic morals.
So, our people start thinking that all the things they do
are ordered and planned by others. Unfortunately, lack of knowledge
in news broadcasting and lack of skills in this arena has caused
such films and programmes to be screened.
When the visual media violate our beliefs, traditions and
culture, the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
have a responsibility first to fine them and then, if they continue
to break the rules, to put a stop to their irresponsible activities.
Muslim Afghans cannot watch such programmes broadcast right
into their homes. They cannot allow a few people to disrupt
their family life by promoting a lewd culture.
We hope that the commission will be even more courageous and
strict in dealing with media which want to create a distorted
environment and mentally torture our people.
Source: Cheragh, Kabul, in Pashto 24 Jan 06
26/01/2006 Inadequate power forces closure of Afghanistan's
Text of report in English by Afghan independent Pajhwok news
Lashkargah, 26 January: Low power voltage and frequent outages
have forced off air broadcasts of a Taleban-era radio station
in the restive southern province of Helmand.
Inaugurated six years back, Radio Helmand daily aired programmes
to listeners in Lashkargah and other districts from 1600-2100
until recently. Its broadcasts, however, were disrupted by recurrent
power shutdowns in recent weeks.
Abdol Malik Moshfiq, Helmand's radio and television director,
informed Pajhwok Afghan News on Thursday that the current level
of power voltage was inadequate to meet requirements of the
huge radio station, which had to suspend its broadcasts.
Provincial Information and Culture Department head Jan Gol,
in a chat with this news agency, claimed those concerned had
promised enhanced power supply to the radio station. However,
he hastened to add they did not have the money required for
funding a new power-supply line.
Engineer Faizollah, Helmand's energy and water director, observed
power consumption in the province had considerably increased
with the advent of winter. He explained eight transformers had
exploded in one month alone and thus they could not ensure a
round-the-clock power supply to keep radio programmes on air.
Mohammad Ghaus, a 25-year-old Lashkargah dweller, acknowledged
Radio Helmand aired educational programmes, which were appreciated
by listeners. He urged the government to do all it could to
ensure an early resumption of its broadcasts in the interest
It's intriguing to note Radio Helmand had to suspend its broadcasts
due to regular power outages in a province where Afghanistan's
largest Kajaki dam is situated.
Source: Pajhwok Afghan News website, Kabul, in English 1257
gmt 26 Jan 06
18/01/2006 Iranian weekly suggests probe into daily's
Text of report: "Who runs Sharq?", published by
the Iranian weekly Ya Lesarat ol-Hoseyn on 18 January
Directors of the daily paper Sharq still openly collaborate
with foreign intelligence services on their projects despite
that they had pledged to security officials they would avoid
damaging national interests.
This extremist daily that last year had collaborated on projects
of foreign security services, promised to change its policy.
Publishing material concerning the nuclear case and likening
the resistance of former directors of foreign policy to superstition
[sentence as published] and collaborating with the CIA on the
project of discrediting Ahmad Chalabi are instances of this
daily's cooperation with foreigners.
In the last round of its collaboration with foreign intelligence
services on their projects, this daily cooperated with the CIA
in its attempt against the Syrian government. This daily published
statements of Abd-al-Halim Khaddam, who revealed secrets of
long cooperation with the CIA and the French intelligence service.
This came as a big shock. It was published with the title "Al-Asad's
Right Hand Exposes Facts," while all other newspapers,
including reform-minded press, covered this event as treason
by Khaddam against the Syrian government, for which Khaddam
once served as one of its leaders.
It is said that the suspicious performance of this daily,
which has lost huge oil income, will be investigated by authorities.
Source: Ya Lesarat ol-Hoseyn, Tehran, in Persian 18 Jan 06
26/01/2006 Palestinian Hamas opens Persian website
- Iranian daily
Text of unattributed news report, entitled: "The Hamas
Movement sets up website in Persian" published by Iranian
newspaper Kayhan website on 26 January
The representative of the Hamas Revolutionary Movement in
Tehran, Abu-Usamah Abd-al-Mu'ti, has reported the establishment
of the first Palestinian website in Persian.
Abd-al-Mu'ti, by sending a fax to Kayhan, announced that the
website's address on the Internet is: www. Palestine_Persian.info.
He added that the central website is also available at: www.
Palestine-info.info; which provides information on the Palestine-related
issues and developments round-the-clock.
The people of Iran and other Persian speakers can, therefore,
follow the Palestinian developments in Persian. The website
also offers services in Arabic, English, French, Russian, Pakistani
Urdu language and Malawi language.
Moreover, the website offers other information on Palestine,
including political and economic commentaries, news reports,
the history and geography of Palestine, biography of the Palestinian
martyrs, information on the refugees and the injured, history
of Zionism, the crimes of the Zionists, the conspiracies of
the colonial powers, published books and important articles
Source: Kayhan website, Tehran, in Persian 26 Jan 06
25/01/2006 Iraq/Canada: Five channels now available
Text of press release by Canada-based JumpTV on 25 January
As the eyes of the world continue to focus on the rebuilding
efforts in Iraq, a truly independent media marketplace is emerging
for the first time in the country's history. Five of the independent
national broadcast television stations in Iraq have announced
an exclusive partnership with JumpTV (http://www.jumptv.com),
the world's leading online television network.
The stations carried by JumpTV include Al Baghdadia (http://www.albaghdadia.com),
Al Fayhaa (http://www.alfayhaatv.net), Alsumaria (http://www.alsumaria.tv)
and Beladi TV, along with the previously announced AldiyarSat
(http://www.aldiyartv.net), the only television station in the
world broadcasting gavel-to-gavel coverage of the trial of former
Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. For a monthly subscription of
between 9.95 US dollars and 19.95 US dollars, subscribers to
JumpTV can watch any of the Iraqi stations, anytime, via any
"Independent television channels sprung up quickly after
the fall of Saddam Hussein and the Baath party, responding directly
to the thirst for independent and credible sources of news and
information," said Inam Abdul Majeed, production manager,
Al Fayhaa. "Not only do the people living in Iraq want
timely and accurate information, but the millions of Iraqis
and Arabs living outside the country crave access to Iraqi content
as seen through the eyes of their countrymen. With JumpTV and
a high-speed Internet connection, those citizens now have entree
to affordable, real-time TV from their home country and region."
JumpTV's global distribution network broadcasts live, high-quality
television signals from over 100 channels from nearly 50 countries
via its website.
"JumpTV is committed to broadcasting the best television
content possible and providing every expatriate around the world
access to television from home via the internet. This bundle
of stations gives viewers their choice of the latest in political,
cultural and entertainment programming from Iraq. We anticipate
that anyone interested in Iraq will turn to JumpTV for access
to unfiltered information broadcast from the source," said
Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, president of JumpTV.
"There are millions of people of Middle Eastern descent
living around the world who want to follow the trial of Saddam
Hussein, the results of the recent elections, and other local
programming from independent Iraqi channels," said Amir
Hegazi, regional director of Middle East and North Africa for
JumpTV. "This is the first country-specific channel-package
we are bringing to market, and we plan on rolling out many more
country and regional packages in the near future."
Source: JumpTV press release, Toronto, in English 25 Jan 06
26/01/2006 Malaysian deputy PM urges media to handle
issues of religion, race with care
Text of unattributed report entitled: "Media should handle
sensitive issues with care - Najib" in English by Malaysian
news agency Bernama website
Kuala Lumpur, 26 January: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri
Najib Tun Razak has asked the media to be more responsible in
their reporting, especially when dealing with sensitive issues
like race and religion.
He said the media which had now been given greater freedom,
should not sensationalize their stories to boost sales without
thinking of the repercussions on the people.
"In filing reports, the facts must be right. And don't
deliberately try and create conflicts especially when it concerns
matters of race and religion.
"Although Malaysians are strongly united, each community
has its own sensitivities. In this era of greater openness,
we need to act with care and wisdom," he said on the one-hour
'Wawancara Khas Bersama Menteri' (Special Interview With The
Minister) aired over TV1 Wednesday [25 January] night.
Najib also said the decision of the nine non-Muslim cabinet
ministers to withdraw their memorandum last Saturday had eased
the tension created by demands to amend Article 121 (1A) of
The section states that civil courts have no jurisdiction
over matters relating to Islam.
The deputy prime minister said the action of the ministers
in submitting the memorandum to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah
Ahmad Badawi caused displeasure among the people and the situation
needed to be controlled quickly.
He believed the action by the ministers was misconceived because
it gave the impression that there was a split in the cabinet
between the Muslim and non-Muslim ministers.
"Their retraction (of the memorandum) was most proper.
As soon as they did that, the situation became calm again,"
The memorandum which was submitted to the prime minister on
18 January, called for a review of laws affecting non-Muslims,
in particular sub-clauses of the article relating to religious
conversion. The ministers also wanted the conflicts between
syariah and civil laws to be rectified.
It provoked strong criticisms from leaders of political parties
and non-governmental organizations, who felt that the ministers,
who had direct access to the PM, should have discussed such
sensitive matters during the cabinet meeting.
The issue was triggered by events surrounding the death of
Mount Everest climber Sergeant M. Moorthy alias Muhammad Abdullah
last month which led to Moorthy's widow S. Kaliammal and the
Federal Territory Religious Council tussling over the right
to bury him.
Moorthy, who died on 20 December, was eventually buried by
the religious department on 28 December following a Syariah
[Shari'ah] High Court ruling that he was a Muslim and after
the High Court decided it had no jurisdiction to intervene in
Replying to a question sent in by email from a viewer, Najib
denied the incident showed the cabinet was ineffective.
"The cabinet all this while has been very open and willing
to discuss all issues, no matter how sensitive, be it religion,
race, culture or education. And it has succeeded in resolving
so many challenges," he said.
Referring to the National Service Training Programme, Najib
said the government was considering offering contracts to the
programme's trainers who had proven their effectiveness and
were accepted by the trainees.
He said the trainers, who were now paid on a daily basis,
should be given annual contracts to give them greater career
security which would enable them to concentrate on improving
themselves to become more effective.
"If they are placed on contract, they can serve for nine
months as trainers and we can use the remaining three months
to train them," he said.
Source: Bernama website, Kuala Lumpur, in English 26 Jan 06
26/01/2006 Dubai to host Mideast electronic media conference
Text of report in English by UAE news agency WAM website
Dubai, 26 January: Dubai will play host to the Middle East
Electronic Media summit on 23 February.
"Middle East Electronic Media summit is a strategic event
addressing critical issues that is faced by the regional media
industry and its professionals. It debates the future of conventional
media like newspapers face from the emergence of interactive
TV and portals, their fight for the advertisement budget, consumer
preference etc.., all of which make this event a must-attend
for anyone who looks forward to play a future role in the middle
east media industry, organizers," Datamatix Group said.
"The event is expected to offer new perspectives about
the evolving electronic media industry and its impact on the
print and other conventional media. It will be highly beneficial
to media professional from both the electronic and print media
and we strongly encourage your organization's participation
in this event," the organizers added.
Source: WAM news agency website, Abu Dhabi, in English 26
25/01/2006 USA/Iraq: US-funded radio, TV "reach
71 per cent of Iraqis" - survey
Text of press release by US-based Middle East Broadcasting
Networks on 25 January
Al-Hurra TV and Radio Sawa together reach an unduplicated
weekly audience of 71 per cent of Iraqi adults 15 and older,
according to an independent survey.
The survey was conducted nationwide in Iraq during November
and December 2005.
Radio Sawa alone reached 51 per cent of Iraqi adults, making
it the most listened to radio station in Iraq. Al-Hurra alone
reached 42 per cent of Iraqi adults weekly, ranking fifth among
the more than 200 satellite and terrestrial TV stations that
can be viewed in Iraq. The only four stations with larger weekly
TV audiences than Al-Hurra were Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, Al-Iraqiyah
(each with 71 per cent weekly reach) and Al-Sharqiya (67 per
cent weekly reach).
The majority of viewers of Al-Hurra TV and listeners to Radio
Sawa considered their news to be reliable. Seventy-three per
cent of Al-Hurra's weekly viewers said the news on the channel
was reliable and 63 per cent of Radio Sawa's weekly listeners
said that station's news was reliable. Radio Sawa was also cited
as their number 1 source of radio news by 32 per cent of respondents
in the survey followed by the BBC Arabic Service (13 per cent)
and Radio Monte Carlo (nine per cent.)
The audience figures reported today confirmed similar findings
in earlier studies done in Iraq in 2004 and 2005. This survey
along with other surveys in 11 other countries in the Middle
East by research companies such as ACNielsen and Ipsos show
that together Al-Hurra and Radio Sawa have an unduplicated weekly
reach of more than 35 million adults.
The results are based on over 2,000 face-to-face interviews
with randomly selected respondents using internationally accepted
standard sampling methods. The margin of error is approximately
two per cent. This survey was conducted in cooperation with
D3 Systems of Vienna, Virginia, by KA Research Limited, a regional
research company operating throughout the Middle East and North
Africa, with offices in Iraq, Turkey and Belgium.
Al-Hurra TV is broadcast on the Nilesat and Arabsat satellites,
the same satellites used by the major regional Arabic channels.
It is also available in Baghdad on Channel 12 and in Basra on
Al-Hurra was launched in February 2004, as an Arabic-language
alternative source of news and information. Unlike the all-news
networks Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, Al-Hurra carries a wide
range of current affairs programmes (covering Iraqi and international
news) as well as documentaries and other informational programming
on a wide variety of subjects, including health and personal
fitness, entertainment news, sports, fashion and science and
Al-Hurra maintains a large news bureau in Baghdad which is
both the coordination point for its nationwide network of correspondents
and the origination point for interviews and roundtables on
issues facing Iraq today.
Al-Hurra is operated by the non-profit corporation "The
Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc" (MBN). MBN is financed
by the US government through a grant from the Broadcasting Board
of Governors (BBG), an independent federal agency. The BBG serves
oversight and as a firewall to protect the professional independence
and integrity of the broadcasters. For more information on Al-Hurra
go to www.alhurra.com.
MBN also operates Radio Sawa, which seeks to effectively communicate
with the youthful population of Arabic-speakers in the Middle
East by providing up-to-date news, information and a mix of
Western and Arabic popular music on its 24/7 FM and mediumwave
radio stations throughout the region. Its secondary target audience
is news-seekers of all ages. Radio Sawa is committed to broadcasting
accurate, timely and relevant news about the Middle East, the
world and the United States, to the highest standards of journalism,
as well as the free marketplace of ideas, respect for the intelligence
and culture of its audience, and a style that is upbeat, modern
Radio Sawa broadcasts on FM in Iraq in the cities of Baghdad,
Basra, Mosul, Nasiriyah, Sulaymaniyah and Erbil. The station
can also be heard throughout the country on mediumwave (AM).
Radio Sawa also broadcasts on FM in Morocco (Rabat, Casablanca,
Tangier, Meknes, Marrakesh, Agadir and Fez), Jordan (Amman and
Ajlun), Palestinian territories (Ramallah), Kuwait (Kuwait City),
Bahrain (Manama), Qatar (Doha), UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai), and
Djibouti. Radio Sawa broadcasts on mediumwave (AM) to Egypt,
Yemen and Sudan. Radio Sawa streams its programming at its all-news
Contact: Deirdre Kline, Director of Communications of Middle
East Broadcasting Networks, Inc., +1-703-852-9250
Source: Middle East Broadcasting Networks press release, Springfield
(Virginia), in English 25 Jan 06
30/01/2006 Afghan paper reports criticism of private
TVs for "immoral", "lewd" programmes
Text of report by Haidari, Azizi and Pakiza, "TV broadcasts
should be based on our values", published by Afghan state-run
newspaper Eslah on 30 January
Our land has its own culture, a culture which has its roots
in the depths of all our people's hearts and minds. So, nothing
is acceptable for us that upsets these values and the spirit
of society. Our reporters asked a number of our compatriots
about the broadcasts of independent and national TV, and the
decision by the Media Review Commission [to fine private Afghan
TV for airing "immoral scenes"].
Sayed Merza Hussain Sahel, chief editor of Kodak [Child] magazine
in the general department of kindergartens, said: "Regarding
the broadcasts of independent TV stations, we must say that
their cultural views and the way they air them is unacceptable.
Every country has its own culture and traditions. There is now
talk about freedom of expression in our country. We must first
define it. Freedom of expression means freedom to express your
beliefs, ideology, culture and cultural rights and put them
into practice. When our visual media air videos which are against
the spirit and morals of the society as well as its ideologies,
and then label them as freedom of expression, they defame this
He added: "It is really unfortunate that some people
mistakenly consider broadcasting immoral videos to be part of
freedom of expression and defend it. We can say that the programmes
of the independent TV stations are not in line with the morals
of families in this Islamic society. Instead, they should broadcast
videos that have educational and moral aspects and should entertain
the youths, both boys and girls, in such a way that they do
not lose their pride. Because, being entertained by such things,
they will lose their position in society."
Dr Sharif Selany, acting deputy head of the science department
at Indira Gandhi Hospital, expressed his view about TVs broadcasting
in Kabul. "I am fond of the news programme of Ariana TV.
I do not like the Top 40 programmes of Ariana and Tolo TVs.
I am in favour of reforms in TVs. It would be very good if they
aired some educational programmes for all age groups. All programmes
should be controlled. Films and songs which are not in line
with our values should not be broadcast. We should not consider
all parts of Afghanistan to be like Kabul. Watching programmes
which are not in accordance with the wishes of people in many
provinces of our country creates a negative reaction in their
Mohammad Aman, working for the planning department of Azadi
Press [government printing press], expressed his view about
TV as follows: "I think all TV programmes should be in
accordance with Islamic thoughts because we live in an Islamic
country and should not act as the West does. All out TV programmes
should be educational and religious. They should not air lewd
films. They should have educational programmes so that all schoolchildren
learn from them."
He added: "For me, the TV which has the best programmes
is the national station. All its programmes are well coordinated.
Other stations ignore women being naked on screen. So, the commission
established to deal with such cases should stop such TVs which
broadcast against Islamic teachings."
Abdol Qadir Malool, director of planning at Azadi Press, said:
"I think that the films aired by all TVs except the national
station are unacceptable. These films are against Islam and
are immoral. They are not according to the needs of this Islamic
society. They should air films with moral themes that are acceptable
for all so that everyone can learn from them. They should show
social and educational films so that our youths are not misled.
Youths are the future of this country. If the current situation
prevails, our children and families will soon lose even what
they have. I am not at all in favour of such TVs, which mislead
our people. I ask the newly established commission to stop these
TVs as soon as possible or the day will come that everyone will
Source: Eslah, Kabul, in Dari 30 Jan 06 p2
30/01/2006 Al-Jazeera TV says to post "full"
Al-Zawahiri video message on website
After airing the almost six-minute video message by Al-Qa'idah
second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri and interviews with journalist
Abd-al-Bari Atwan and Larry Johnson, former CIA counter-terrorism
expert, to comment on the video message, the Al-Jazeera Television
presenter at 1817 gmt on 30 January said that "we draw
to your attention that we will post the video message in full
Monitors have checked www.aljazeera.net and, as of 2000 gmt
on 30 January, the Internet site was not observed to post anything
other than a short, 250-word report on the video message.
Monitors will continue to check www.aljazeera.net for any
additional information on, or material from, the Al-Zawahiri
Source: Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 1818 gmt 30 Jan 06
WEST BANK & GAZA
30/01/2006 Palestinians in West Bank, Gaza Strip protest
Danish cartoons on Muhammad
Text of report by Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya TV on
Masked armed men seized control of EU offices in Gaza City
for some time before leaving the premises later, to protest
the publication by a Danish newspaper of cartoons slandering
Prophet Muhammad, may God's peace and blessings be upon him.
The armed men stayed outside the premises whose doors remained
closed. Denmark is facing wide-spread protests across the Muslim
world, particularly in the Middle East.
[This is followed by a report on this story by Zayn al-Fayiz,
who says: "Angry and censorious reactions to the publication
by a Danish newspaper of cartoons slandering Prophet Muhammad,
may God's peace and blessings be upon him, have continued to
be seen in all Arab and Muslim countries. In the city of Nablus
in the West Bank, Palestinians staged a demonstration to condemn
this action in front of the premises of an international observation
mission that houses Danish and other European employees. The
demonstrators delivered a protest letter to the employees. Meanwhile,
Palestinian demonstrators set a Danish flag ablaze in the city
of Hebron." Then, a rifle-wielding young man is shown saying:
"We urge all Arab and Muslim states to withdraw their ambassadors
from the freak Danish entity. We also urge our heroic people
to respond to this by boycotting all Danish products."]
Source: Al-Arabiya TV, Dubai, in Arabic 1232 gmt 30 Jan 06