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Malaysian heat and Qatari Frost 

Vincenzo, living in , reminds us that it’s not just that has a problem with . Ten days ago, he blogged: ‘[With] the resignation of two senior editors due to Squatgate, the suspension of an east Malaysia tribune, and recently the suspension of a night edition daily, I’m wondering whether the same stuff will be applied to us lesser mortals who on the ’.
   While the Nostalgia blog says it is ‘quasi-fictional’, it is disturbing that there remains some in the press, which appears to be what Vincenzo is hinting at. Perhaps those in that country would care to let me know more.
   Partly by contrast, an interview with National Radio’s Kim Hill last week in discussed the press freedoms at , where HRH the Emir of tends to be hands-off with the channel. The impression was the channel tended to be reasonably objective—and it was the first to interview Israelis on issues in the region, and , on which I have appeared, was regarded as an imitator who caught on to a good thing. Al-Jazeera International’s Sir (interviewed here in The Observer) estimates that several days’ worth of oil revenues in Qatar could keep Al-Jazeera going for a year.
   By western standards, HRH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani’s powers may seem great, yet Qatar seems to operate efficiently, with a low .
   As a , I like the sound of Qatar, though I have never visited there. It appears (although my sources are the official ones) that there is a ruler who treats his subjects fairly; in return, the functions well. (A similar idea can apply in a .) The minute the state interferes, people feel mistrust—leading to areas of rebellion.
   Al-Jazeera may be the first from the when its service commences in May—which suggests to me that and numerous other cities in the region will be this century’s bright stars, all through exhibiting a sense of .
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Qatari Media is by no means free. Having loved and worked in media in qatar i would aily encounter restrictions on what i could say.

AL Jazeera itself is banned form reporting negatively on Qatar, after all the state coffers produce their revenue since advertising income is so poor.

Setting up the station is actually all part of a carefully managed campaign to make Qatar seem like a liberal paradise, which it is isn't. The country is still transforming from feudal relations of production, rather rapidly, to a form of capitalism; a form that only a state with 180,000 nationals could enjoy.

Meanwhile the government there goes to great pains to make itself look like a democracy. NB: the current emir took power from his father in a coup.

I'm by no means saying that Qatar is a failing, despotic mess (although it would be interesitng to see what happened to it without its 300 trillion cuft of natural gas) i'm just trying to say tha tif you think it enjoys freedom of the press and is going to be a functioning democracy anytime soon, then you are mistaken.  
Freedom2starve: thank you. I only had the official information (in other words, I had wanted to hear from someone more knowledgeable within the nation), and nothing “from the inside”, so to speak. Thank you for sharing what you have.  
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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