It all leaves a rather odd feeling in the gut, with prevalent domestic ethnic conflict, marginally embraced foreign-owned media institutions, a variety of ideologies and political affiliations (not all religious in nature), I ask myself will Iraq ever reach a point of unbiased journalism? Does anywhere? Separating politics and religion from the media is impossible, it’s naïve – but tolerance of those who have different views is not.
As a budding media student I was interested in the French Philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre’s theory on the fear of otherness. I read intensively about how governments and media institutions used it to instill fear and hatred as a way to control people, I saw it around me on a daily basis (at times subtly and sometimes blatantly) – at home in the west, and from a distance in the east. Do I still see that? Yes.
Freedom of expression is a western term, and even in the west there are limits, grey areas and ongoing new legislation, however, I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping the day comes when Iraqi journalists opinions are not punished by murder if an individual, group or institution doesn’t agree with their views.
Lisa Knight is Creative Director & Founder of The Brand Foundation, a UAE-based branding agency. Prior to that, Lisa led the creative team of the UK’s governing political party, firstly under Rt. Hon Tony Blair and latterly, Rt. Hon Gordon Brown. Lisa’s career spans 17 years and numerous industries; arts & entertainment, business & finance, fashion, travel, youth, sport & international development.
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