Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Democracy for Iraq...but hold the free press

Came across this deliciously paradoxical post in the Indian blogosphere lamenting the inordinate amount of lamenting taking place with regard to the US paying Iraqi media outlets to report pro-US news. The paradox wasn't in the post as such, although the presence of a "Support Democracy in Iraq" flashy gif thing on the blog page didn't help matters. Great to see conflicting arguments of an issue placed side by side in apparent harmony.

Here is what the US government has to say about the role of a free press in a democracy. A free press being, of course, a press that doesn't whore itself out to play nice cuddly stories on the bidding of the government. And Jesus Christ, it's number 6 in a list of 21 features of a democratic society. In fact, it appears even before "The rule of Law" and "Independent Judiciary". That's how much importance the US places on the role of a free press in a democracy.

But hold on, maybe I'm just being unduly negative about all this. Maybe this is just a sign of the free market taking hold in Iraq. A free market where news, just like any other commodity can be bought and sold based on a price determined by demand and supply. And since there is a pretty sizeable demand for good news and an acute shortage of it's supply, attaching a price tag to it is but natural in the scheme of things.

So it's all good I guess, I was worrying myself over nothing. There, now I feel much better.

No comments: