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Marking Kurdish Journalism Day, Barzani urges media to support referendum

2017/04/21 | 23:35

(Iraq News)- ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – On the eve of the 119th anniversary of the publication of the first Kurdish newspaper, memorialized as Kurdish Journalism Day, the Kurdistan Region president hailed the development of the industry in the Region.“It is a matter of pride that journalism and media work in our country has passed good phases due to freedom and political pluralism.

And this is an opportunity for journalism to develop cultural, political, and social awareness among the people of Kurdistan, and in the meantime, for Kurdish journalism to be an important platform to convey the message of Kurdistan’s nation and its legal rights to the world,” Masoud Barzani said in a published statement.He congratulated Kurdish journalists in their coverage of the war against ISIS and called on them to “make efforts to support the referendum and independence process irrespective of any political and ideological allegiance.”The first Kurdish newspaper was published in Cairo on April 22, 1898 by the renowned Kurdish literary figure, Miqdad Baderkhan, who was exiled to Egypt in the late 1890s.The paper soon become enormously popular among literate Kurds across the Middle East and was subsequently printed in other parts of Kurdistan.The first Kurdish paper that was published in the Kurdistan region was called Peshkawtn (Progress) and was printed under British rule in Sulaimani from 1920 to 1922.Over a century later Kurds enjoy hundreds of media outlets including dozens of TV stations and publications in Europe.

Most political parties in the Kurdistan region have their own media outlets, including television and radio stations.Kurdistan Region authorities have received criticism from international organizations which have called for better protection of journalists and their rights.“In Iraqi Kurdistan, a region experiencing a great deal of economic and social tension, journalists have to work in a very politicized environment in which the media are regarded above all as political tools,” the media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders states in its assessment of press freedom in Iraq.Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, speaking earlier this month, noted good developments in the Kurdistan Region’s media over the past few years, including in the increasing role of women and greater experience of journalists. “Nowadays, international media learn about many events that happen in Kurdistan and Iraq from Kurdish media,” he said.

“These are all good developments.”“But if the question is whether this media is at the requisite level – no.

I believe the media in Kurdistan should be more accurate and circulate news truthfully,” Barzani said, noting that this was a problem around the world. The day also marks the 19th anniversary of the establishment of the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate. 

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