Wednesday, June 04, 2003

So where do the Iraqi's go with their newfound freedom of speach? Check out this story about the emerging Iraqi press:

Faced with a freewheeling Iraqi media, the U.S.-led occupation authority is devising a code of conduct for the press, drawing protests from Iraqi journalists who endured censorship under Saddam Hussein and worry for their newfound freedom. Coalition officials say the code is not intended to censor the media, only to stifle intemperate speech that could incite violence and hinder efforts to build a civil society. The country is just too fragile for a journalistic free-for-all, they say.

"There's no room for hateful and destabilizing messages that will destroy the emerging Iraqi democracy," Mike Furlong, a senior adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority, told The Associated Press. "All media outlets must be responsible."

U.S. forces have reason to worry about instability. Divisions run deep in postwar Iraq, a tribal society split between majority Shiite Muslims and minority Sunnis and between Arabs, Kurds and smaller ethnic groups. Plus there is a thick seam of distaste for the American occupation.