The Impact of Online Journalism on the Freedom of the Press: A Case Study of Kuwait

By Dashti, Ali A.; Al-Fadhli, Salah | International Journal of Instructional Media, Winter 2011 | Go to article overview

The Impact of Online Journalism on the Freedom of the Press: A Case Study of Kuwait


Dashti, Ali A., Al-Fadhli, Salah, International Journal of Instructional Media


INTRODUCTION

The development and presence of the Internet during the culmination of the 20th century not only helped to change the norms, practices, perceptions, and understanding of journalism as an industry, but also played a significant role in transforming how societies define, understand, expand, and embody their commitment to the freedom of expression. This is particularly the case with columnists at the local community level. In fact, many scholars recognize that the aspect of the Internet known as online journalism has in many ways resulted in enhancing freedom of expression. Arguably, this intellectual and cultural phenomenon has even outpaced the attempts of some governments' and political regimes' attempts at utilizing rules and regulations as a means of control. The presence of online journalism has resulted in the infusion and diffusion of massive amounts of data and information, which has directly resulted in new, unrestricted, and complex ways for which individuals to communicate freely in cyberspace. As a result, Internet technology has fostered the conditions for freedom, which has significant impact on the freedom of the press. The current political and technological changes which are occurring throughout the Gulf region in the Middle East are compelling countries in this region to re-evaluate their regulations, guidelines, and best practices, as well as legislation concerning freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

An example of this is the widely recognized phenomenon of local newspaper columnists not being permitted to publish articles in their respective newspapers, but being allowed to publish them online. In fact, many Arabic online newspapers began to use the internet to circumvent governmental regulations and control over the local press. In 2001 Elaph (www.elaph.com) became the first electronic Arabic online newspaper based in London, England, consisting of freelance journalists and columnists from Arab countries, who were able to consistently write freely without any local censorship. In the Arab world, the public's tendencies and willingness to move information to cyberspace and/or to express their ideas in this domain seem to illustrate the growing discontent surrounding the lack of freedom of expression in the local press.

In Kuwait, the internet seems to have also created an atmosphere that has encouraged the freedom of the press. Since the establishment of the Printing and Publication Law in 1961, local newspapers in Kuwait have remained under the control of five elite families (Jurdi and Dashti, 1994). However, with the introduction of the internet in the mid 1990s, many Kuwaitis began to use the internet to seek information and began to view the internet as a more reliable news source. More than this, many Kuwaitis began to use the internet as a vehicle for expressing their own individual ideas. This shift in the Kuwaiti public's view of the internet dramatically impacted all institutions of Kuwaiti life and society. One institution in particular that was considerably and immediately impacted was the local press. In fact, the internet challenged the predominant philosophy, practices, operations, and foundations of the local press, which ultimately resulted in a complete transformation in the predominant structure of the local press.

Mr. Clement Asante (1997) notes that there are levels or degrees of the freedom of the press. This simple fact illustrates the difficulty of defining the freedom of the press in universal terms (Holtz-Bacha, 2004). However, scholars have attributed many definitions to the freedom of the press. For the most part, these definitions involve removing the 'restraints' and the 'role' of the freedom of the press. Nevertheless, many of the popular definitions of the freedom of the press differ in specifying the source of restraints (1971; cited in Asante, 1997).

For other scholars (Lieberman, 1953; Hachten, 2005), the freedom of the press means the absence of government and political restraint. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Impact of Online Journalism on the Freedom of the Press: A Case Study of Kuwait
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.