Robert Ménard leaves DCMF

genesis
By genesis

Robert Ménard and his team have left the Doha Centre for Media Freedom. "The Centre has been suffocated. We no longer have either the freedom or the resources to do our work", he explained.

Ménard concluded: "I do not doubt the sincerity of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah and her determination to advance the cause of freedom, especially media freedom. But she is not alone. And those who prefer to retain the status quo are many, powerful and obstinate.

"No-one but her would have dared imagine a Centre like the one we have built here. Maybe Sheikha Mozah is too far ahead of her fellow citizens, too ’modern’ for political figures attached to the status quo, too aware of the challenges in this world for dignitaries concerned only with their own interests."

For the full article:

http://www.dohacentre.org/Robert-Menard-leaves-Doha-Centre,1931.html

Ratings calculated automatically using technology developed at QCRI and MIT.

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By Happy Happy• 7 years 10 months ago.
Happy Happy

"Happy Happy said: Robert Ménard ...Break Some China! ...

Ok, let's break some china/pottery now that he's gone, if you know what that means, culturally.

Salam Thu, 02/07/2009 - 2:41am "

By kbaisi• 7 years 10 months ago.
kbaisi

lol, this is old news

By CuriousButDetermined• 8 years 5 months ago.
CuriousButDetermined

Be it, free media does not exist and at best is misused.

By anonymous• 8 years 5 months ago.
anonymous

Even the site of dcmf is being water down, a freedom fighter without a cause. http://www.dohacentre.org/

By lusitano• 8 years 8 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
lusitano

PM,

In my country (just as an example of many others) the media does not spare the government, on the contrary the government’s actions are constantly being reviewed, analysed and criticized in newspapers and TV news and open debates. It’s an open book and not buyist, because if it’s not the case, those who cover or try to embellish also become under investigation and reported by the media!

It's fare to say that in Portugal, the media is the voice of the people and NOT of the government, as it was in the past, when we were governed by a dictator.

What happened in the US, post-911, in the Bush Administration era - the media's almost general blind support of the government - could never happen in today's democratic Portugal. The diversity of the parliament and of the media itself, would never allow such situation.

Too bad, this isn't the case in the entire world!

By lusitano• 8 years 8 months ago.
lusitano

Qatarita,

I am sorry but unfortunately not surprised. QL sometimes appears to be under the government's, where freedom boundaries vary in accordance with the mood of some authoritarian mind.

Who ever this individual is, sure has sometimes shown his links to the local establishment!

By genesis• 8 years 8 months ago.
genesis

i also wondered about that this morning...

By fubar• 8 years 8 months ago.
fubar

If you read through that article, you get to this line:

"a- A draft law on the enactment of the income tax law."

Does anyone know what that might refer to?

Are we going to start paying income tax too now?

By genesis• 8 years 8 months ago.
genesis

In related news, the Cabinet supported the Advisory Council’s views on “responsible media freedom”...whatever that means :(

http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=299225&version=1&template_id=36&parent_id=16

By CuriousButDetermined• 8 years 8 months ago.
CuriousButDetermined

To have absolute freedom would be silly and useless sometimes.

The point of free media is to provide true info to help people decide better and know right from wrong. There must be some sort of regulations (not to limit but organise)

no matter what systems/laws you put in place, misuse will happen as soon as someone powerful tries to. This is where business ethics come in!

Qataria,

I saw the without borders and i believe it was pretty frank by all means especially given it happend in Qatar. The intro was sharp!

The case you talked about about a caller being filtered out happens in so many tv channels including BBC & CNN.

By britexpat• 8 years 8 months ago.
britexpat

Funny you should mention the New York Times, since they just had to apologize for a major erroneous story.. :o)

As far as "drawing the line" is concerned, public officials by nature of their role in society should not be immune. HOWEVER, the reporting must be factual with proof provided. There are too many "national enquirers" around and sensationalism sells papers..

By genesis• 8 years 8 months ago.
genesis

Back to CBD question , where do we draw the line?

Is it acceptable when discussing Public figures to personally attack them?

For instance, Do the French when Criticizing Paris City Administration, picks on the many adventures of the openly gay mayor Bertrand Delanoë?

In a country where criticism is Disapproved & considered name-calling…How much criticism is considered, too much?

Rumor has it, that few years ago one of the dillies local editor was brutally beaten, just after he written an article criticizing a senior government official. It was said that the attackers were the official’s cousins (God only knows)!

By anonymous• 8 years 8 months ago.
anonymous

Sorry to hear about the call-in situation. It must be very frustrating.

As to the deletion of your posts, I had noticed that. But to be honest, I suspect it was a decision made by Qatari (who is not Qatari from my understanding) and therefore a bit concerned about jeopardzing the situation here at QL. I do find it disappointing that discussion of public figures would not be allowed, although I support deletions when they reveal personal information about QLers (such as names, jobs, etc,). That doesn't seem to apply in your case, though, and I was sorry to see them deleted.

Sometimes I think the ex-pat community is cautious about handling situation here (and in Qatar in general) to the degree of doing a disservice.

 

 

 

I refuse to drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By anonymous• 8 years 8 months ago.
anonymous

 

 

 

I refuse to drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By anonymous• 8 years 8 months ago.
anonymous

I guess Genesis whispered sweet nothings into the ears of the MODs regarding my posts because today QL Mods have removed the majority of my posts, stating that the reason is number 15 of QL's ettiquite guide.

WHICH MEANS...

Its ok to sing songs of praise of the unholy three but when it comes to stating facts that are not in her or their favor, you get blocked - Hail Qatars transparency & Freedom of speech!

Fubar you said "Like a lot of things it's more about the outward appearance than the underlying substance." this coins our so called civiliized and educated reform.

BTW today the sinister prime minister HBJ appreard on Aljazeera for a live interview...'Someone' called in ahead of time to line up for a live call in, she asked:-

"are you taking calls in tonights program (name of the program 'without limits')?

"yes we are!"

"well thats great, please take my full name..... and number and kindly make sure Im included as one of the call ins"

"inshallah sheikha, we most certainly will! :)"

2 hours later...ring ring

"hello?"

"excuse me , ive inquired and unfortunatley been informed that callers must be pre-approoved for tonights interview"

"i c, in any event if you do take calls tonight try to make sure Im included"

uncomfortable pause ".....yes, ok"

The programe aired...ALL call ins were NOT allowed PERIOD.

Need I say more?

By fubar• 8 years 8 months ago.
fubar

Some would ask "do you draw a line at all?".

The New York Times claims that it's "all the news that's fit to print". The news that wasn't fit to print, I presume, was untrue.

That leaves you to wonder - just because news is true, should it be printed?

Or are there times when even factual news should be censored?

Is censorship of factually true issues ever justifiable?

Does the public have a 'right' to know?

By anonymous• 8 years 8 months ago.
anonymous

and unfortunately media often sees its role as supporting the government, rather than simply reporting to the people (which I believe supports the society's better interests).

 

 

 

I refuse to drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By CuriousButDetermined• 8 years 8 months ago.
CuriousButDetermined

I believe it is a matter of will not skill.

But it is really sort of a delimma to define borders when it comes to free media:

Where do you draw the line!

By britexpat• 8 years 8 months ago.
britexpat

It is sad that Robert Ménard has become such a celebrity in this issue.

I would agree that a Qatari would be more suited to leading the initiative, because he / she would understand the underlying political siuation and also be familiar with cultural aspects.

By anonymous• 8 years 8 months ago.
anonymous

I suspect more progress will be made if a Qatari takes the reigns. If you have someone suited for the task, why not?

 

 

 

I refuse to drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By genesis• 8 years 8 months ago.
genesis

I vote for Qatari Writer Nora Al saad to fill-in his position. She has many great contributions in the local media.Too bad that some of her articles never made it to the dailies & was curbed by the newspapers editors.

By anonymous• 8 years 8 months ago.
anonymous

in Bahrain is been curbed by the likes of internet censorship and newspapers been suspended, and now this in dohell.

I think there's gonna be bigger things to come, and its not gonna be good.

---------------------------------------------------------

I think you have me confused with someone who gives a sh1t.

By anonymous• 8 years 8 months ago.
anonymous

is just as biased and skewed as Fox news.

As for how AJ and DCMF could not co-exist: I think that AJ is basically a mouthpiece of some of TPTB here to turn on the rest of the world (both Arab and Western) and distract from what goes on in Qatar, essentially not reporting critically on Qatar. I think that is antithetical to the notion of free press in Qatar that provides information that is essential to self-critique.

 

 

 

I refuse to drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By stealth• 8 years 8 months ago.
stealth

thats what many do, when things are not going the way the think it should be going. Its all a question of sour grapes.......

By fubar• 8 years 8 months ago.
fubar

Perhaps Menard was reading QL:

"If you don't like it, then leave"

By Aunt Polly• 8 years 8 months ago.
Aunt Polly

I for one admire anyone who has the guts to leave a job ( especially in the Middle East) when he finds that what his job requires might cause a clash with his principles.

I don't know if Menard is right or wrong but hats off to him for taking a bold stand on this issue and willingness to throw in his hat when things got out of hand.

AP

By stealth• 8 years 8 months ago.
stealth

good riddance to bad rubbish........

By CuriousButDetermined• 8 years 8 months ago.
CuriousButDetermined

cycnbob,

Thanks for teaching me a new word, demented lol.

Please don't take my critics personally because you are not guilty of what politicians do. However, they are guilty and the ones whom I condemn.

Let us not hate each other as a result of what politicians do and to do that, we should accept hearing critics of them.

However, we need to do it professionally enough to not discriminate against normal innocent people led by politicians.

Again, I don't clear myself of falling in this trap, but we should be aware of it.

By fubar• 8 years 8 months ago.
fubar

If you continue to attack people for what you think they are 'implying', people will continue to attack you for stupidity.

Try just reading the words, and restricting yourself to commenting on them, instead of what you are imagining.

And since this is "Qatar" living, I think you'll find that most posts from most people will be about Qataris.

By CuriousButDetermined• 8 years 8 months ago.
CuriousButDetermined

Fubar,

Despite the fact that combining the people and DCMF implies you reference to Qatari people (who else could people be be here?), i like the tone of your last post.

Having read it, I don't clear myself from greatly misunderstanding.

I also sense the shock in your words as this is unusual.

Lusitano,

I admire many things in the West in so many aspects of life and I am not bigoted to hide this. I wish you acknowledge my critics of the west as much as you acknowledge my admiration to it.

Note that most of my critics are on governments not people with whom I have no issues at all.

By Arabian73• 8 years 8 months ago.
Arabian73

As A Qatari, I wish our leaders keep the centre running and get modern law secures press, and speech freedom.

Things take time, but our hopes are still so high..

It's not too hard to have someone understands Middle East, and gulf culture, and keep pushing things slowly to free the press in Qatar.

By cynbob• 8 years 8 months ago.
cynbob

I sit here continuing to try to figure out your comments, but your comments make no sense to me. I continue to read your jibber jabber to the point where I have these wrinkles between my eye brows! I need botox, stat!

I try to figure out where your mindset is--especially your anti-American comments, but, to tell you the truth, your mind is a very dark, scary place. I don't like dark, scary places. And, in this dark, scary place no light is getting through.

Let the light in. People have tried to explain things time and time again.

By fubar• 8 years 8 months ago.
fubar

Read this very carefully:

***

When will you stop commenting like:

"Perhaps people are proud to have the DCMF because there was a building with those words above the front door. It doesn't matter who works there, or what it does, or what it achieves, as long as there is a building somewhere with DCMF on the sign.

Like a lot of things it's more about the outward appearance than the underlying substance."

This is exactly what is happening in US not just in media but on a large scale.

When you start making comments objectively respectfully, I will stop comparing things with the US.

***

Where, in my original post, did I say that this (the notion of appearance vs substance) was peculiar to Doha, Qatar, the Gulf, the Middle East, or anywhere specific?

I just suggested that it (appearance vs substance) may have been a factor in this instance. And yes, I've no doubts it happens elsewhere in the world. But it's hardly relevant, is it, since we're here to talk about the DCMF, aren't we?

I didn't say 'Qataris are proud to have the DCMF', I didn't say 'the region is proud to have the DCMF', I didn't say 'like a lot of things IN DOHA' or 'like a lot of things IN QATAR'.

The reasoning that when an American criticizes another country without mentioning America he is a hypocrite is specious.

This site is called Qatarliving.

This thread is about the DCMF.

If you really want a thread about press freedom in the US, then good for you. Start one, and we'll all be happy to post relevant thoughts.

But in the meantime, stop hijacking.

How could I have been any more objective?

By lusitano• 8 years 8 months ago.
lusitano

CBD,

I am amazed that in spite of your reputation of west bashing, you can't resist but to bring it back in ever post.

How could you ever possibly compare the US and Qatar in terms of Media freedom?!

Sure the US is not perfect but Qatar is light-years from what the US has achieved.

Try not to embarace yourself so often. After all you do have a secret admiration for the west!

By lusitano• 8 years 8 months ago.
lusitano

I agree with cynbob and fubar.

How could anyone think it would be possible to DCMF operate in a country where freedom of media is non existent and the authorities are not prepared for it??!!

Sure Al-Jazeerah does a great job... out of Qatar!

By CuriousButDetermined• 8 years 8 months ago.
CuriousButDetermined

Fubar,

I am not assuming you are not aware, this is the case. If not, then you are biased.

If the argument is that people don't want freedom here so that issues are hidden and controlled, how is this any different in the US?

When will you stop commenting like:

"Perhaps people are proud to have the DCMF because there was a building with those words above the front door. It doesn't matter who works there, or what it does, or what it achieves, as long as there is a building somewhere with DCMF on the sign.

Like a lot of things it's more about the outward appearance than the underlying substance."

This is exactly what is happening in US not just in media but on a large scale.

When you start making comments objectively respectfully, I will stop comparing things with the US.

There is distinction between objectivity and subjectivity which I hope we all factor in our comments and threads.

By Kwan• 8 years 8 months ago.
Kwan

Qatar and the region are not yet ready for such an organisation. Forget the person heading DCMF, will a new person be allowed to continue? I doubt.

Unless the region completes its transition to complete democracy DCMF will never happen with its principle of Free Media. Free media happens to be one of the pillars of Democracy. It will not happen anywhere else.

By fubar• 8 years 8 months ago.
fubar

So when you say:

"However, when a US citizen makes a comment like it is really bad to opress media while not mentioning US stats then: he/she is decieved and needs to be made aware or otherwise."

In other words, when ever anyone comments on any topic, they should first disclose:

* Their nationality

* Any similar events that have happened in their country of origion

Or are you just presuming that I'm not aware of what's happening in the US?

You don't seem concerned that Alpha, whose profile lists Zimbabwee, as being hypocritical? Are you saying Zimbabwee has a better track record of media freedom?

Cynbob is also from the US, but escapes any direct criticism for posting a comment on this thread.

Kwan, of India, is also not surprised. India, I guess, must have no media management issues and press freedom concerns? None at all??

Tallg of the UK isn't surprised either, despite press freedom issues existing there concerning the reporting of the Iraqi invasion. Is that worth bringing up?

By CuriousButDetermined• 8 years 8 months ago.
CuriousButDetermined

I talked about US for the following reasons:

- when a pathetic person like Fubar says:" is anyone surprised?" as a comment to this thread. You should have been more professional and addressive of the topic at hand. I see this comment you made irrelative to the same degree.

- When people portray freedom in Qatar based on looks and don't compare it to international level.

If a Danish person for example, argues about free media then i would try to understand if he/she is stunned about lack of media here.

However, when a US citizen makes a comment like it is really bad to opress media while not mentioning US stats then: he/she is decieved and needs to be made aware or otherwise.

If comments were moderate, i may have shared your critics even. However, I am surprised at how surprised you are and think balance must be established- At your minds at leasts.

By cynbob• 8 years 8 months ago.
cynbob

Again, you hit the nail on the head:

"Like a lot of things it's more about the outward appearance than the underlying substance."

So true, so true.

By fubar• 8 years 8 months ago.
fubar

Well when you have no comments on the topic at hand, why not resort to a tangential argument.

The fact that the issue went to court at all demonstrates much more openess and transparency than what CBD would want to admit.

It would be like me saying

"Prince Charles released all his expenses for the past 12 months, so why doesn't Sheikh Tamim do the same thing?"

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/the-prince-of-wales-a-new-expenses-scandal-1715985.html

We aren't talking about media access to government and royal issues in countries other than Qatar, we are talking about Qatar.

By Alpha_Wolf• 8 years 8 months ago.
Alpha_Wolf

I'm not at all surprised that somehow you found this as a way to bash the US even thought it is completely and totally unrelated.

The broken record keeps repeating itself.....

_______________________________________________________

"A Wise Man knows what he does not know!"

By CuriousButDetermined• 8 years 8 months ago.
CuriousButDetermined

How did the free media in USA help implement the "court ordered release" of torture photos?

I feel sorry for US citizens who are led astray under presribed set of names (democracy, security etc.) even if it is against the constitution and court orders!

This is scary!

By fubar• 8 years 8 months ago.
fubar

Perhaps people are proud to have the DCMF because there was a building with those words above the front door. It doesn't matter who works there, or what it does, or what it achieves, as long as there is a building somewhere with DCMF on the sign.

Like a lot of things it's more about the outward appearance than the underlying substance.

By cynbob• 8 years 8 months ago.
cynbob

Did you not read the article? Surely, I do not have to cut and paste portions of the article for you.

The bigger picture is that the taste of having a freedom of the press was introduced in this region.

This, in itself, brought attention to Qatar. Unfortunately, the powerful people here are not ready yet to experience that process. To be open to this freedom would include seeing the good, the bad and the ugly. To expose these topics could possibly lead to improvements for this region. This, in turn, would make Qatar a "better place to live," if you will.

Instead, people choose to remain with the status quo never wanting others to see the bad and the ugly which could lead to improvements.

This threat of exposure is what is keeping Qatar from the forefront of being a pretty decent place to live. You, obviously, already think your state is at it's best and no need for reform.

By genesis• 8 years 8 months ago.
genesis

Give me one remarkable achievement during his reign. Did he support any of the jailed bloggers in Egypt? wrote about local issues? Gave any contribution whatsoever that was beneficial to this region

By cynbob• 8 years 8 months ago.
cynbob

I disagree. Menard and his team brought attention to the region by trying to give it a voice.

It just so happens that this "voice" is not what Qatar wanted to hear.

By Kwan• 8 years 8 months ago.
Kwan

This is no surprise. This was expected as there was friction between the DCMF and establishment from the beginning, as reported several times in media and QL. Such independent agencies are too early to take root in the region which is yet to turn fully democratic. Some may say Al Jazeera is here. But how much of Al Jazeera time is given to 'Qatar' compared to the kind of discussions they have on world political and social issues?

By ummjake• 8 years 8 months ago.
ummjake

how the two (Al Jazeera and DCMF) can co-exist?

"Most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise."

-- Maya Angelou

By britexpat• 8 years 8 months ago.
britexpat

Al-Jazeerah for me provides an "alternative" view on the news to BBC and CNN. I personaly believe that Al-Jazeerah is doing a good job and gets a bad press (pardon the pun)

By tallg• 8 years 8 months ago.
tallg

The only surprising thing is that it took this long. Wonder what will happen to the Centre now.

By edifis• 8 years 8 months ago.
edifis

DCMF = Doha Camel Milk Farm.

By fubar• 8 years 8 months ago.
fubar

So how much of this will be in the Gulf Times etc tomorrow morning?

By anonymous• 8 years 8 months ago.
anonymous

as it is currently shaped and managed are thorns in each other's sides? I don't see how the 2 can co-exist.

 

 

 

I refuse to drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By ummjake• 8 years 8 months ago.
ummjake

singling out Sh Hamad bin Thamer as being the one who was behind all these obstacles for them.

I'm with fubar on this one...without significant changes in Qatari law and policy, the DCMF'll just be a lame duck.

"Most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise."

-- Maya Angelou

By anonymous• 8 years 8 months ago.
anonymous

It should be interesting to see what happens to the DCMF and QF's relationship with Northwestern University.

 

 

 

I refuse to drink the kool-aid! -- PM

By fubar• 8 years 8 months ago.
fubar

If I implied that the center itself is shutting down, then I'm sorry.

The article merely says that Ménard + the Head of Assistance + the Head of Research + the Head of Communications have left.

I'm glad that the center exists, but without the independance sought it will always be a bit of a lame duck.

If a center with the word 'freedom' in its name can't operate with any of its own freedom, then it's not an ideal situation.

By genesis• 8 years 8 months ago.
genesis

You talk as if the centre is shutdown!(Which is not the case).

the centre existence is applaud by many qataris.menard was pushing

his own agenda.as I implied in other post, he was doing nothing for qatarr

Nor for the region

By fubar• 8 years 8 months ago.
fubar

Raise your hands if you're surpised. Anyone??

Without Ménard here, the Advisory Council may feel free to go to town with their new media censorship laws.

It always seemed a bit preachy that a country that hasn't ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is (was??) hosting an organisation like DCMF.

Very embarrassing for Sheikh Hamad, at any rate.

By britexpat• 8 years 8 months ago.
britexpat

Good move. Menard was causing friction and perhaps didn't understand the culture. I hope the centre survives and a new team is brought in to continue the work..

By anonymous• 8 years 8 months ago.
anonymous

What did he do, you said?

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