Just read Ali Hashem's piece on the Guardian CiF:
Today, Arab media is divided. Media outlets have become like parties; politics dominates the business and on both sides of the landscape and people can't really depend on one channel to get their full news digest. It is as if the audience have to do journalists' homework by cross-checking sources and watching two sides of a conflict to get one piece of news.I'm not sure where to start with this one. You'd read this article and think that the real victims of the Arab Spring are the supposedly once professional Arab media, and not the thousand's of victims of crackpot dictators. And in the piece he is trying to contrast the coverage of the Syrian revolution with the Bahraini revolution, and yet I recall a very popular documentary about the repression in Bahrain which was created by al Jazeera English. The other point that I find disingenuous is that the media were not reporting an armed element to the revolution in Syria, whereas the world media were - from last summer - already reporting about the Free Syrian Army and about the formation of ad hoc militias fighting back against Assad's regime. The myth that the revolution was being falsely portrayed by the world media as peaceful is commonly propagated by those individuals who support Assad. The only obvious answer to such claptrap is that the revolution became increasingly violent the more Assad's security services brutalised the Syrian people. That journalists like Ali Hashem are unable - or unwilling - to admit this is far more disturbing than this alleged decline in the standards of the Arab media.