Twenty nine editors have decided to boycott coverage of the Arab Economic, development and Social Summit because they were offended by the invitation they received from Saudi Arabia and the Arab League.
The news agencies released a statement on Sunday announcing that they would boycott all coverage of the event and all preparatory events. The statement was signed by editors from a variety of news agencies, most of whom are Egyptian.
The statement claimed that officials from the Arab League confirmed that only editors were invited travel to Saudi Arabia to provide media coverage for the summit. It also pointed out that “journalists reject this degrading way they were dealt with.”
“Journalists have also confirmed they do not find a justification for their exclusion; especially that a large number of them expressed their desire to travel at their own expense,” said the statement.
The summit, being held in Riyadh is set to take place over two days starting on 21 January. It is organised by the Arab League and Saudi Arabian authorities and will bring together leaders from across the Arab world.
The embassy of Saudi Arabia in Cairo published a press release on Monday which “reiterate[ed] its welcome to all journalists and media personnel, who have expressed their keenness to cover the summit.”
Bahaa Eldeen Mohamed, the Arab affairs editor at El Watan newspaper and one of the signatories of the statement said despite the press release today all of the signatories of the statement still intend to go through with the boycott.
The signatories of the statement include editors from news agencies such as Al-Watan, Al-Gomhuria, state-owned news agency MENA, Al-Wafd, Al-Ahram and Akhbar Al-Yawm. In addition, editors from Emirati, Iraqi and Qatari agencies also signed the statement.