Based on first-hand experience of working in the country, as well as extensive research and dozens of interviews with Iraqi and Western actors, this policy briefing is designed to generate greater understanding of the complex challenges facing support to the media in Iraq and other countries in the Arab region. The briefing argues that the Iraqi media landscape of 2013 has real strengths – as well as weaknesses – which reflect the reality and complexity of modern Iraq. Examining how the history of Iraq has shaped the media today, it:
• analyses the legacy of attempts at media reform and media development after 2003;
• examines the role of media in Iraqi society today;
• assesses the challenges and prospects of freedom of expression in the country;
• summarises the challenges facing the Iraqi media 10 years after the invasion;
• highlights lessons from the Iraq experience of potential use to other Arab countries;
Acknowledging that the seismic shift in attitudes the media was asked to embrace after Saddam Hussein’s fall was likely to take time, the briefing concludes that the prospects for Iraq’s media are nevertheless less bleak than is often assumed.
Awad, A.; Eaton, T. The media of Iraq ten years on. Policy Briefing No. 8. BBC Media Action, London, UK (2013) 36 pp.