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29 June, 2005

FO! can F-Off

Dubai Media City has banned the license of Dubai lads mag FO!

FO! - which stands for "Focus On" (yeah, right) - featured articles on "clothing, celebrities, films, cars, music and technology". Unfortunately:

"Many of the pictures were of young women, some of whom were not fully clothed."

But that's not why Dubai Media City has closed it down. Definitely not. Apparently, FO! publishers ADA failed to comply with "repeated requests to conform to its own originally-submitted business plan".

DMC said it told ADA of its intention to suspend the magazine after the first issue, but the company went on to produce a second issue "that showed no intention of following its own business plan".

"DMC reluctantly decided to suspend this publication. This is not a matter of censorship or refusal to allow free speech.

Oh, of course not. Certainly not. Dubai Media City is a free zone, fully committed to complete freedom of speech (that must take into account the culture of the region and must generate accurate reporting) and there is no way it would ever interfere with an independent publication.

No, we can definitely all be confident that Dubai Media City is utterly committed to the utmost breadth of freedom of speech imaginable (responsible freedom, in accordance with the UAE's structure of laws and regulations which define the rights and duties of its inhabitants).

In fact, we should praise Dubai Media City for its continued efforts to uphold and promote total and utter freedom of speech (as long as it balances itself against political and cultural concerns and sensitivities as defined in DMC's regulatory framework).

No, as long as Dubai Media City tenants obey the Tecom Code of Guidance (remembering to be mindful of the prevailing social and religious mores of the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East and Islamic region generally) they won't have any problems at all.

"The Codes are drafted in a descriptive as opposed to a prescriptive manner. The Codes do not seek to ban or prohibit particular things as this would go against the concept of "Freedom of Expression" which is a cornerstone of Dubai Media City's business proposition."

Exactly. Couldn't be more clear cut.

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Blogger Keef said...

I'd never seen nor heard of FO until all this kerfuffle happened. DMC's excuse certainly strikes me as bizarre - mind you they do suffer from excessive use of corporate double-speak in all their communications with their tenants, sorry 'partners'. And everything crap that they do is done 'for our convenience' and 'because we requested it'.

30 June, 2005 15:26  
Blogger Hence the Blogger said...

did you say Hustler has an office in MDC?

21 July, 2005 18:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too funny. I doubt that it is a case of censorship though. It is certainly not the kind of publicity DMC is after and shutting down any publication is not the kind of thing DMC would want to do.

However, you are right in that there is a clear contradiction in what they see as freedom of expression and speech.

25 July, 2005 23:14  

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