Mousa Barhoumeh Becomes Martyr for Freedom of Press

Events in this country have ceased to surprise me. Few are the things that can still infuriate me. A survival mechanism, most probably, as otherwise I would have developed suicidal or homicidal tendencies by now. Now I would just think “well, what else is new” and move on. But I guess some things still have the power to make me angry, the following being one of them.

A week ago, Alghad’s editor in chief Mousa Barhoumeh was forced to resign by CEO Mohammad Alayyan after the former accused him of caving into governmental pressure. Several of his colleagues consequently threatened to resign in attempts to dissuade Alayyan from his decision. That in turn caused Alayyan to threaten closing down the newspaper than to go back in his decision, which he claims to be the result of “administrative affairs”, whatever that means. The fact that the decision was made two weeks after Alayyan met with Prime Minister Samir Rifai is purely coincidental.

Barhoumeh however does not hold Alayyan responsible for his decision, because “he was facing more than he could handle”.  He says “this decision came from those fed up with different opinions, and who want to stifle the truth and turn the media into their podium.”

It’s sad considering that this is supposed to be Jordan’s most liberal newspaper. Notice how The Jordan Times chose to report the story, mentioning nothing of the disputes:

“CEO of Al Ghad Mohammad Elayyan last week accepted the resignation of Musa Barhoumeh, who served as chief editor of the daily since October 2008. Thanking Barhoumeh for his efforts and dedication to place the independent daily on the Kingdom’s media map, Elayyan said Al Ghad will continue to perform its duties as one of the Kingdom’s dailies.”

For what it’s worth, thank you Barhoumeh, for refusing to sell out and as cheesy as it may sound, become a martyr for freedom of press. And as blogger Osama Romoh suggests, maybe Alghad should put the following ad for their new editor in chief:

“مطلوب رئيس تحرير “بِسمع” الكلام و “بحب” الحكومة حُبّاً جمّاً، على ان يكون جباناً فارغ الدماغ، ليس له رأي أو فكر، لا يكترث بارتفاع الأسعار وفرض الضرائب، ولا يتدخل فيما لا يعنيه شخصيا. الخبرة غير مطلوبة”.

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4 responses to “Mousa Barhoumeh Becomes Martyr for Freedom of Press

  1. Pingback: أصوات أردنية حرة: مطلوب رئيس تحرير يحب الحكومة…مفاهيم وطنية…و تحقيق الخلود | 7iber Dot Com

  2. It IS set back! In every aspect.
    So sad, really. So sad.

    H.

  3. And this is why a more public freedom of press is needed in Jordan, we need more awareness and action.

  4. I think this is sad because media is there to be a compass for the government, an honest feedback and reading of the impact of policy changes. a weak leader is that who manipulates public opinion and its about time policy makers and rulers in the arab world learn that its not exclusively about what they (in person) see fit, you can’t be right all the time and you will fail, you are fooling yourselves if all you read is polished reports, when you raise tax, people will talk! if somebody is bothering you, there is a system, and it must be maintained sound and you work according to it. you can’t be 3 in 1 , the government, the people and the media.

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