Resistance to press reform from religious and government officials, finds CPJ report
Princes, Clerics, and Censors
A CPJ special report: In Saudi Arabia, resistance to press reform
New York, May 9, 2006 - Despite domestic and international pressure for reform, government and religious authorities in Saudi Arabia employ a wide array of behind-the-scenes controls to curtail coverage of sensitive religious and political news. Writers are routinely blacklisted, editors dismissed, and news blacked out, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found in a new report.
Religious issues are the focus of the most intense press freedom battles in the kingdom, CPJ found in "Princes, Clerics, and Censors," released today. Enterprising Saudi journalists are challenging what they see as the monopolization of Saudi society by hard-line religious extremists, CPJ found.
Senior Middle East Program Coordinator Joel Campagna, the report's author, conducted two in-depth reporting trips to the kingdom, speaking to more than 80 reporters, writers, editors, and intellectuals in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dhahran, Dammam, and Qatif and meeting with officials from the interior and information ministries. Saudi journalists say press reform is urgently needed to confront serious domestic issues such as poverty, corruption, and terrorism.
To read the report: http://www.cpj.org/Briefings/2006/saudI_06/saudi_06.html
CPJ is a New York-based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.cpj.org.