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Media Day Marked in Arbil

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TEHRAN, April 24 (ICANA) – In April 1898, two brothers in Cairo published the first Kurdish-language newspaper, entitled simply "Kurdistan". The exact date is not certain, but the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq, has named April 23rd as "Media Day", to recognize the occasion.
Sunday, April 24, 2011 7:00:48 PM
Media Day Marked in Arbil

The government-sponsored Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate, the only legal media Union in the region, attended the ceremony, while opposition outlets and journalists, boycotted the occasion.

After the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, a plethora of new outlets opened across Iraq and Kurdsitan in particular. However, the level of professionalism, was and still is, lacking.

Dozens of journalists covering the recent anti-government protests - in which at least 11 civilians have been killed - have been reportedly wounded.

The government points to the 2007 "Journalism Law", that was passed in parliament, protecting freedom of speech, and ensuring no writer could be jailed for what he has published.

Further, most of those working for outlets owned by the ruling political parties, maintain that the press is completely free in the region - and only those that exceed their duties have to worry about.

The international NGO Reporters Without Borders, recently called on the KRG to do more to protect journalists covering the protests.

However, reports show Iraqi Kurdistan is in no sense a closed society, and harsh criticism of the government and even the President is frequently published and tolerated.

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