Iraq Media Profile

Last updated on November 21st, 2021 at 05:31 pm

Iraq Government and Media


Government

Government Type: Federal Parliamentary Representative Democratic Republic comprising 18 governorates (provinces). Under the Iraqi constitution, the president must be a Kurd, the prime minister a Shia Arab, and the speaker of parliament always a Sunni.
Head of the State: President Barham Salih (The presidency is mostly ceremonial in Iraq)
Leader: Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi (has the executive power)
Political Party: Independent
Political Position: Independent


Media

World Press Freedom Rank: Iraq 163/180

Iraq is ranked 163rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index. Reporters Without Borders reports violence against journalists, stating, “Iraqi journalists risk their lives when they cover protests or investigate “and “Murders of journalists go unpunished because they are not investigated.” In 2019, Following the attack on journalists and media outlets, Unesco condemned the attacks and murder of journalists. 

Government Influence on Media: Foreign broadcasters in Iraq such as BBC, Reuters, US-funded TV channel Al-Hurra, and Radio Free Iraq are closely inspected and subject to suspension and sometimes expulsion when the Iraqi government does not approve their coverage. For example, Reuter’s license was suspended “over a report on the number of coronavirus cases in Iraq.” Later, CMC lifted the suspension. Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq (Kurdistan region) has its own media, such as Kurdistan TV, owned by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

The Media in Iraq is currently dominated by state-funded public media and privately funded media that is either affiliated with political parties or religious sects. Most of the time, media outlet ownership is not transparent.  State-funded media is controlled by The Iraqi Media Network (IMN), a government-holding company that operates public broadcasters such as Al-Iraqiya TV and the Republic of Iraq Radio. Most Iraqi’s have a satellite dish and satellite TV networks; therefore, privately owned satellite channels such as AlSumaria TV. The Communications and Media Commission (CMC) is the national regulatory agency that issues licenses and regulates broadcasting, and imposes suspensions. In general, the press is not free in Iraq and subject to substantial government censorship


 

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