How Saudi Arabia manipulates the foreign press

Another method used by the government is to counter-attack or sanction in response to damaging media reports. This is what happened to the London-based Financial Times newspaper. It had to withdraw its correspondent and close its Riyadh bureau for publishing “lies” about Saudi Arabia. The Saudi authorities even considered legal proceedings if the newspaper did not issue an apology and undertake to cover Saudi Arabia in a “neutral” and “objective” manner.
The Saudi ambassador in Beirut was asked to explain the apparent change in the Lebanese newspaper Al-Safir’s editorial policy after it published a story about Osama Bin Laden and the Wahhabis, one that – in Riyadh’s view – was full of “specious arguments” and “false information.”
In an undated cable, the Saudi embassy in Berlin informed the foreign ministry about rumours of a media campaign against Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, by the Israeli embassy in Berlin in cooperation with German media outlets.
In counteract this offensive, the Saudi embassy proposed using experienced German journalists and writers to write articles about Saudi Arabia every six months, and to translate books by Saudis that would be promoted at cultural events. The five journalists were to be paid at least 7,500 euros a month.

via How Saudi Arabia manipulates foreign media outlets | RSF


About marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).
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