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The role of the press in Iraq's long struggle for democratic reform

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conference contribution
posted on 01.01.2007, 00:00 authored by Benjamin IsakhanBenjamin Isakhan
The toppling of Saddam in 2003 has seen Iraq shift from only a handful of state organs that served as propaganda machines, to a wealth of over 200 Iraqi-owned newspapers which are being fervently produced and avidly read on the streets of the nation. This paper traces the introduction of the printing press to Iraq by the Ottomans and details both the periods where Iraq’s press was truly free and fostered the emergence of a civil society and democratic reforms and those where the Iraqi media was most restricted and did little else than praise the regime at hand. Following on, this paper reviews the developments since the fall of Saddam Hussein and, despite the extensive interference in Iraq’s media sector from the occupying forces, it concludes by arguing that these papers have been central to the re-emergence of an Iraqi public sphere which has openly debated and discussed the issues surrounding the nation’s shift from despotism to democracy.



OURMedia - NUESTROSMedios. Conference (VI : 2007 : Sydney, N.S.W.)


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Sydney, N.S.W.

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[Sydney, N.S.W.]

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E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

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2007, OURMedia - NUESTROSMedios

Title of proceedings

OURMedia - NUESTROSMedios VI 2007 : Sustainable futures, roles and challenges for community, alternative and citizens's media in the 21st century : Proceedings of the 2007 International Conference, University of Western Sydney, New South Wales

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