Posted by: Shekhah | October 29, 2012

When crowdsourcing has consequences!

In Muthukumaraswamy’s study she declared that it is important to note that in many regions around the world, there are dangers associated with crowdsourcing in countries with authoritarian regimes.

Reading this make me want to share some of these challenges in Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this year,Saudi Arabia was ranked the 8th among the most censored countries, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Saudi Journalists know they can’t express their opinion in traditional media and social media could be even worse. A lot of Saudi people don’t use their real names or pictures when using social media or discussing political, religious or social issues. A new royal decree was passed last year, that has many articles protecting all government figures and punishing anyone who violate it’

If doing so, a person could be detained or risk his own life. Here are two examples :

Foreign journalists trying to highlight controversial social or political issues in Saudi Arabia without a written approval from the Ministry of Information have the same risk.

Last year, the government prevented any covering of Shiite protests in the Eastern Province. Local news websites that have reported on the unrest have been shut down and their editors arrested. They expelled Riyadh-based Reuters correspondent for his coverage of political unrest.

How can journalists along with citizens improve journalism practices when they have to fight government censorship? As a journalist covering an area that suffers such censorship would you comprise the truth to protect yourself?

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