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Information minister bans live programmes on state television

first_img Information minister Iyad Madani announced a nationwide ban on all live broadcasts on Saudi public TV channels on 30 January, two days after angry viewers made unflattering comments about senior officials, including King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, during a phone-in programme on the news channel Al-Ikhbariya. The station’s director, Mohammed Al-Tunsi, was fired.“This measure aims to prevent the public from hearing their grievances expressed on the air,” Reporters Without Borders said. “While press freedom is far from being a reality in Saudi Arabia, the emergence of live chat shows was a big advance. We urge the authorities to reverse this decision and to reinstate Al-Ikhbariya’s director.”During the 28 January show on Al-Ikhbariya, viewers who called in expressed anger about the government’s failure to sufficiently increase the salaries of state employees. According to the website Elaph, the information minister decided two days later to replace Tunsi by one of his own aides from within the ministry. The government is reportedly also poised to imposed prior censorship on all TV broadcasts.Al-Ikhbariya’s coverage of the social and economic problems that Saudis face has been very popular.Saudi Arabia was ranked 148th out of 169 countries in the world press freedom index issued by Reporters Without Borders in October. News News Organisation RSF_en Help by sharing this information News Saudi ArabiaMiddle East – North Africa April 28, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Saudi ArabiaMiddle East – North Africa center_img News RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance March 9, 2021 Find out more NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Follow the news on Saudi Arabia June 8, 2021 Find out more February 1, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Information minister bans live programmes on state television to go further Saudi media silent on RSF complaint against MBSlast_img

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