Media here have a clear role to play in highlighting issues like the latent racism which apparently exists in Qatar. In doing so, media can highlight such issues to the public and bring them to the attention of the higher authorities here.
With the advent of Eid, malls here barred single men, primarily Asians, from entering the premises with one senior mall security manager even claiming doing so was a matter of "mall honour". Incidents in the souq area, a gathering point for the many Asian workers here, brought to the attention of the public the plight of the low-income group, with them being subjected to actual physical violence.
Professor Richard Roth, Associate Dean of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University here, told The Peninsula: "I have read a couple of pieces (on the issue) online. But my knowledge beyond that is limited. I cannot really comment on whether media have done a good or a bad job but I am glad people are being informed. These reports have called the issue to the attention of the public and something needs to be done."
Roth said: "The media's role is to place a spotlight on problems and not to govern or preach. The journalist's job is to uncover things and by doing so, alerting the public and perhaps even embarrass the higher authorities into taking action."
However, there has been a sea-change in the role of media here, he said. Whereas as recently as 10 years ago the press shied away from reporting such incidents, there has since been an attitude change. "I am delighted," said Roth.
Source: The Peninsula