Fake news watch: Books and bankruptcies

Updated 08 January 2019
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Fake news watch: Books and bankruptcies

LONDON: Arab News examines a weekly round-up of fake news doing the rounds.

1 Jordan’s media response unit said it has quelled 22 rumors in 36 hours

The head of Jordan’s media response unit at the National Center for Security and Crisis Management said the center has intecepted and quelled 22 fake stories over the past 36 hours. 

In an interview with Jordanian TV channel Roya, Ahmad Naimat said several social media accounts were guilty of spreading these stories, adding that he personally does not rule out the theory that this was a “systematic and organized” effort to spread fake news and was no coincidence. He added that the rumors involved stories of people going bankrupt and the owners of investments (and others involved in financial scandals) fleeing the country. 

2 Music body denies questioning Egyptian singer over NYE remarks 

The Egyptian Music Syndicate has denied reports claiming that it has referred singer Sherine Abdel Wahab for investigation over allegedly insulting her country during her latest New Year’s Eve concert. The syndicate, headed by Egyptian singer Hani Shaker said they have not received any complaint against the famous singer. They also said they have not received any recordings of the NYE concert, during which the singer is claimed to have insulted Egypt, and therefore the syndicate did not take any action against her.

Sherine became the talk of the town following a remark she had made that was deemed “offensive to Egypt.” In her latest concert, the singer “jokingly” told the audience “I’m too good for Egypt” when the mic cut off during one of her performances. 

3 Egypt publishers’ union denies ‘confiscation’ of books at Jeddah book fair 

Saeed Abdu, head of the Egyptian Publishers’ Union, has denied that some books were removed from the Jeddah International Book Exhibition, which was held from Dec. 26 to Jan. 6. 

In statements quoted by Al-Bawaba News, Saeed denied allegations that Egyptian publishers prevented the circulation of certain books at the Jeddah exhibition.

The news comes after one Egyptian writer took to his personal social media account to tell followers that some of his books were removed from the exhibition although he had acquired government permits to showcase them at the event. 


Despite setbacks, Arab summit at media forefront

Updated 20 January 2019
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Despite setbacks, Arab summit at media forefront

  • Japanese journalist says they have to cover the summit because the Mideast region is too important for Japan
  • TV, print and radio journalists were given the necessary equipment and space to allow constant reporting of the summit’s opening remarks

BEIRUT: Journalists from across the world gathered in Lebanon’s Beirut Waterfront to cover the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit on Sunday despite the tumultuous days leading up to the event.

It was not just Arab and Middle Eastern journalists who were present at the summit’s official media center; reporters from Japan, Europe and the US were also in attendance. 

There were conflicting reports on the number of journalists attending, ranging from 600 to double that. The summit’s official spokesman Dany Najim said 1,200 journalists covered the event. 

In addition to journalists working with news organizations and institutions were those traveling as part of country delegations. 

The Arab League sent 11 journalists, while official numbers put an average of 10 journalists per delegation. 

“We must cover the summit. The region is very important to us. It’s where we buy oil and gas,” said a Japanese journalist.

TV, print and radio journalists were given the necessary equipment and space to allow constant reporting of the summit’s opening remarks. While they were placed in a hall adjacent to the main summit meeting room, two large screens were continuously airing the summit’s activities and talks.

Rigid security protocols were in place for the safety of attending delegations. Roads starting from Beirut’s Phoenicia Hotel in Minet Al-Hosn district all the way to Al-Nahar newspaper’s offices in Martyrs’ Square were closed as part of a security zone. 

Transportation of journalists was organized by the summit, where a bus was available round the clock to pick them up and take them to the Monroe Hotel — the media hub for the summit — in Minet Al-Hosn, before taking another bus to the Beirut Waterfront.

Several stores and restaurants were forced to shut for the days of the summit, while some issued mass text messages to the public to announce that they will stay open.

This is the fourth Arab Economic and Social Development Summit. The previous ones were hosted by Kuwait in 2009, Egypt in 2011, and Saudi Arabia in 2013.