The Post-Saddam Iraqi Media: Reporting the Democratic Developments of 2005
The toppling of Saddam in 2003 brought with it the re-emergence of the free press in Iraq. This has seen Iraq shift from only a handful of state media outlets that served as propaganda machines, to a vast array of Iraqi-owned newspapers, radio stations and television channels which are being fervently produced and avidly consumed across the nation. This paper therefore reviews the developments in Iraq’s post-Saddam media sector and finds that it has been central to the return of an Iraqi public sphere which has openly debated and discussed the issues surrounding the nation’s shift from despotism to democracy. This is perhaps best evidenced by the role that the Iraqi media played in hosting a rich tapestry of debate, discourse and deliberation from a panoply of political, religious and ethno-sectarian factions throughout the elections and the referendum held across the nation in 2005. Despite their respective biases and particular persuasions, the net effect of such a rich media sector has been an Iraqi populace who are both concerned and informed about the nuances of democratic governance.