In Kurdistan freedom of press is being misused and the media makes mistakes
Media is free in Kurdistan. However, having no obvious limits for the freedom of media has had negative effects on the use of the principles of free mass media. This, often, has damaged the Kurdish national interests. Media experts believe that defining the boundaries for this practice can benefit the country.
It has been more than six months since Kurdistan region has been fighting a vicious enemy that does not believe in human values or moral principles. In today’s world, media technology plays an important role as part of this struggle. ISIS’s media initially chose its own horror tactics. They always try to spread fear and shock in the hearts of people in order to appear invincible. Sometimes, when ISIS publishes a video it becomes the title of many of the Kurdish media without any consideration that they are working in favor of the ISIS. Other times, the Kurdish media discloses secret military information, often unintentionally, without any consequences legal or otherwise.
Dr. Taher Hasso Zibari, Head of Media Department at the College of Arts at Salahaddin University told Hewler that media in Kurdistan is not practiced professionally and it has not been able to abide by any moral standards of the profession. He believes it's due to the legal vacuum in the Region because if one does a mistake there is no legal mechanism for punishing him/her and that is why the media publishes whatever it wants. He confirms that even the existing media laws are not applied.
Dr. Taher believes that the Kurdistan Regional Government is responsible in this particular situation and states that even if it is with a few rules and regulation, all the media should be informed about some important things regarding what to publish and not publish. The government should have enacted laws to punish those busy with off-boundary activities. He refers to America as an example: even though the press is very free, they have also set limits for the media people so that nobody can publish something that may damage the national security interests.
Furthermore, Hakim Azad Hamad-amin, the Leader of the Journalism Syndicate in Kurdistan told Hewler that there are many flaws in the Kurdish media that need to be reviewed as many sights publish news items and pictures that benefit the enemy more than the nation. He also mentioned that in the near future, with the participation of the government journalists and university teachers, an operation room will be opened to discuss the issues in and of the media.
Mr. Hamad-amin also believes that these is- sues are existing because there are no comprehensive and permanent laws for the media in the Kurdistan Region. He added that the current laws applied were written at a time when people valued freedom of press more than the Region’s interests. Moreover, in his point of view, even if the freedom of expression is essential, the Region’s national interests are much more important. If the media shows more responsibility when they publish sensitive information then surely the Region and Peshmerga’s successes would be more secured than they are now.