Speakers at a media forum in Dubai have hit out at television talk shows in the Arab region which contain verbal abuse and violent clashes, calling for them to be more ethical in their output.
Panelists at the 11th Arab Media Forum (AMF 2012) claimed most viewers are drawn to talk shows for their entertainment value and pointed out that programmes which degenerate into verbal abuse and physical violence may alienate audiences, WAM reported.
Titled ‘Free Media and Free Wrestling', the session highlighted changes in the language and the supposedly violent approach being adopted by the media during on-air conversations.
"Violence is non-dialogue and a poor example to the youth. Instead of promoting a culture where listening to divergent opinions is a sign of maturity, talk shows that feature violence do not accomplish anything of value and, in fact, inhibit dialogue," said Mona Al Bahar, a UAE-based professor of social science.
"We are yet to develop a culture where we listen to the viewpoints of others, and even agree to disagree. A TV talk show cannot resort to inflammatory tactics to elevate the level of dialogue. Red lines that draw racial slurs, personal attacks and baseless accusations are not the way. Anchors that instigate violence should not be condoned," added Samir Farah, an anchor with BBC Arabic.