Qatar is issuing permits to the media for the coverage of the World Cup that will start towards the end of November and some media outlets are already raging at the ‘limitations’ imposed by the Qatari regime.
According to the permits, broadcasters, such as the BBC and ITV, will effectively be barred from filming at accommodation sites, particularly in places where migrant workers are housed.
This falls under the terms of the filming permits issued by the Qatari government, which prohibits filming in such places in a bid to limit the coverage of thorny issues inside Qatar.
World Cup media problems
In the run-up to one of the most important football event this year, several media outlets in the West have campaigned against Qatar on the issue of migrant workers and the LGBT rights etc.
This did not sit down well with the Qatari government and they may have emboldened the latter to issue new directives in the covering of the WC by the foreign media.
The rules do not prohibit reports on specific subjects, meaning the media can report on anything they want, but there is a specific restrictions that outlets must agree to when applying for a filming permit from the authorities to “capture photography and videography of the most popular locations around the country”
Filming at government buildings, universities, places of worship and hospitals is also prohibited, along with filming at residential properties and private business are also prohibited.
They also apply to photographers but do not explicitly refer to print journalists who do not film their interviews, for example.
Some media outlets are saying the rules will likely make it difficult for them to investigate reported abuses, such as the mistreatment of migrant workers, or to conduct interviews on subjects people may be reluctant to discuss in public, such as LGBTQ+ rights.
Afterall, they are going to cover the event and they should do everything for the world to see how the games go on. This would have been the reasoning behind the Qatar government’s thinking when it issued the limitations.
Additionally, according to the regulations, broadcasters must “respect the privacy of individuals” and refrain from filming them or their properties without first receiving their “express prior approval.”
Fifa stated that it was “working with the supreme committee and relevant Qatari organisations to ensure the best working conditions for media members covering the tournament, as well as ensuring that broadcasters continue to report freely without any restrictions.”