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Majority shows discontent over local media’s practice ‘Credits for local stories given from Arabic dailies’

In this week’s online poll Arab Times asked voters about their opinion on the originality of reports in the Kuwait media, both new and conventional media. A majority of voters, 30%, felt that more than 50 percent of the content in the local media are taken from outside organizations. Speaking to the Arab Times, respondents who supported this view said that some of the most read sections such as crime and other important local news are often credited to sources outside the organization. “We can understand when newspapers and e-newspapers take international news from foreign sources.

However, this is the case with most local news as well. Why do we need others to tell us about what’s happening in this country.” About 16% of the voters blamed the English dailies for resorting to this practice of taking their stories from external sources the most. “We find credits for local stories being given to Arabic dailies more often than not. We know that it’s not all the newspapers, but some depend too heavily on Arabic newspapers to churn out their stories.” When Arab Times probed why the source is an issue when it is credible, respondents said, “We would like to see stories in a different perspective. Arabic newspapers have their perspective.

The stress and angle would be different as they are catering to a different audience. We want the stories to cater more to our interests.” A majority of respondents said that more pages should be dedicated to expatriate stories. “We would like to see more news from our countries headlined in English newspapers.” About 17% of the voters said there’s a lack of competition between English dailies. “There are very few newspapers and there is a big gap between the first and the second leading dailies, which gives us fewer choices.” About 9% of voters said that copying is the norm in blogs and news websites. “We find that many leading expatriate websites simply cut and paste reports from other conventional media. While, some show the courtesy of letting us know where the reports come from, most blogs don’t even given credits.” A small minority of voters felt that it’s the Arabic dailies that copy from English newspapers. About 6% said so.

However, speaking to respondents, Arab Times found that hardly anybody agreed with this view. “In a country where the main language is Arabic, it’s only natural that Arabic newspapers have greater access to information.” Some respondents mistook reports from news agencies published in local dailies as an act of copying. Correcting this notion, some respondents said that local newspapers subscribe reports from news agencies by paying for it, “which makes it legitimate.”

By: Valiya S. Sajjad Arab Times Staff

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