I just spotted this article on the prospects for the forthcoming negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario over the future of Western Sahara. It contains an excellent, objective assessment of the political situation in this part of North Africa, and the prospects of the parties reaching an agreement. It is neither pro-Polisario, nor pro-Morocco, and the only axe it appears to want to grind is that of professional reporting in the service of public understanding. The journal in question is the Kuwait Times, which evidently could teach a thing or two about professional journalism to the likes of Spiegel and a number of other western newspapers and journals, whose coverage of this issue appears primarily to be concerned with persuading readers to accept Morocco’s “solution” for the territory.
We in the west tend to assume that our journalism is a paragon of objectivity, whereas anything coming out of the Middle East is just the party line of one corrupt government or another. We forget how susceptible our media are to political influence. It appears that our venerable news publications are being given a run for their money by professional reporting emanating from a region we usually dismiss as a basket case of patronage and partiality. Perhaps we should be updating our news-related bookmarks accordingly.