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Qatar Advances in the Global Press Freedom Index

  • Publish date: Tuesday، 10 May 2022
Qatar Advances in the Global Press Freedom Index
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Despite the increase in this year's rating, supporters maintain that Qatar still has a long way to go in terms of enhancing press freedom, particularly in light of stories of journalists being imprisoned and deported.

In this year's Reporters Without Borders (RSF) worldwide press freedom index, Qatar has risen nine places. The increase to 119th place out of 180 shows that limitations are gradually being lifted and conditions are gradually improving in the Gulf state, but there is still potential for improvement.

This is the organization's 20th annual World Press Freedom Index, which looks at the state of journalism in 180 countries and territories.

Al Jazeera, the country's well-known television network, has transformed the region's media landscape and has been dubbed the Middle East's "beacon of free press." Nevertheless, the corporation continues to face scrutiny and criticism in Qatar for understating key difficulties.

To minimize legal repercussions, several local reporters and people in Qatar routinely engage in self-censorship, particularly online.

Migrant worker difficulties are covered

With the FIFA World Cup just months away, migrant rights problems have received more attention in the country. Al Jazeera English has a number of reports on the subject, including one on their website. RSF, on the other hand, has criticized the parent company's Arabic-language department for providing insufficient coverage on the subject.

Doha News covered the story as well, with no legal consequences.

Qatar has undergone a number of labor reforms in recent years. They passed the region's first non-discriminatory minimum wage law in 2021.

In August 2020, Qatar enacted two major rules to break down the barriers to migrant employees leaving the nation and changing employment without their employers' approval.

The government lifted restrictions on migrant employees changing employment without permission from their employers and set a monthly minimum pay of 1,000 QAR, which includes basic living allowances for some workers.

Employers are now required to provide their employees 300 QAR in eating allowances, 500 QAR in housing allowances, and a minimum monthly basic income of 1,000 QAR.

Employers who violate the minimum wage law face a one-year prison sentence and a fine of 10,000 QAR.

In May 2021, the Ministry of Labour unveiled a new portal for complaints, allowing employees to report general infractions of labor law.

If adequately enforced, the new regulations have the ability to strike at the heart of the Kafala system, which continues to link migrant workers to their employers. However, there have been countless instances where employers have refused to comply with the regulations.

The method of evaluation

In partnership with a committee of seven experts from the academic and media industries, the international NGO has developed a new approach for generating the World Press Freedom Index.

Press freedom is defined as "the useful ability for journalists, as individuals and as a team, to can choose, generate, and disseminate news and information in the public interest, independent of political, economic, legal, and social interference, and without threats to their physical and mental safety," which according to new methodology.