Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Az-Zaman Web Poll

As I've said before, I like to keep an eye on Arab media site web polls. Not because they're scientific, but because of what they reveal about generally like-minded readerships of various publications. Az-Zaman is one of Iraq's most popular papers. Founded in London by Saad al-Bazzaz, a former senior Ba'ath party media official who had a falling out with Saddam, the paper then moved to Iraq after the American invasion. The paper (Arabic version here http://www.azzaman.com/, shorter English version here http://www.azzaman.com/english/) and his Ash-Sharqiya television station (http://www.alsharqiyatv.com/) are some of the most popular media in Iraq. More importantly, they are respected as independent and non-sectarian, by far the most important of the country's large media outlets to be such (most media is now connected to political parties or the government). This is part of the reason why the government recently threatened to shut them down -- they weren't sufficiently partisan to satisfy some. Anyhow, they're running the following web poll right now which based on the background I've given as I understand it, I will invite you to draw your own conclusions from:

What will happen to Iraq if the federalism law [note: literally "law of the regions"] is implemented?

Iraqi stability - 24.9%
The end of violence - 4.5%
The breakup of Iraq - 48.1%
The collapse of secuirty - 22.5%

Votes: 4481


At 9:13 PM, Blogger Dan O'H said...

Independent? Do you discount the claims that Az-Zaman is funded by Saudi Arabia?

[not intended to be hostile - I genuinely have no idea whether to believe allegations like this, or how much they'd matter if true]

At 6:55 AM, Blogger NonArab-Arab said...

You could well be right, I'm going basically on the opinions I've heard from Iraqis. Certainly if there is that kind of funding, it does not so slant them that they have lost respect. Perhaps akin to Lebanon's Al-Akhbar which generally toes a good independent line, but somehow just can't help but fawn over certain smaller Gulf rulers from time to time?


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