Friday, January 4, 2008

Saudi Culture and Information Minister: Saudi Media Enjoy Full Freedom

"[Saudi] Culture and Information Minister Iyad Madani has highlighted the press freedom in Saudi Arabia and said his ministry had put no restrictions on foreign journalists and media persons who came for Haj coverage. 'We did not tell any foreign news agency or television station what they should cover and what they should not ... and with whom they should speak and with whom they should not ... the field was open to them and all facilities have been provided so they could do their work in an objective manner,' the minister said.

'This is one of the features of media work in Saudi Arabia and we at the Ministry of Culture and Information will not dictate that the Saudi media or a newspaper must say what we want it to say and we also will not exert influence on the foreign media to say what we want it to say,' he added. [...]

"The King emphasized the need for tolerance and promoting dialogue with people of other faiths. 'We, the media persons, should carry the king’s message in order to give it wider publicity,' he added. [...]

Source: Arab News (Saudi Arabia), December 24, 2007