The government decided Thursday to cut things short and nationalise media outlets operating in the realm, including newspapers, radio, television stations and all media platforms, citing a “pandemic of independent thought, opinions and debate” among commoners.
The measures will protect society from exposure to accurate, credible and impartial information that could lead to social ills like critical thinking, officials said.
It remains unclear why the government chose this moment to make the decision, as it already exerts full control over the media landscape, reporters, writers, the internet, digital surveillance tools, public opinion, today and tomorrow’s news, and can already decide on a whim to bar publication of a topic.
The majority of media organizations and their staff and personnel have already been purged following ill-advised protest movements, and now consist primarily of prisoners, intelligence officers, informants, and others who got the job by virtue of their relationship with the government.
Experts believe the most likely explanation is the government grew tired of having to dictate its discourse to each and every media outlet, and decided to centralize the process to better shape the collective conscious instead of wasting time and energy on debates and constantly having to pretend to encourage pluralistic opinions.
Media analyst Yousef Ben Bal said the problem lies in the media being in the hands of “individuals and liars, relying on international organisations and foreign parties, promoting personal agendas.”
“It is important to nationalise the press and reclaim ownership back to the hands of the people so it can be placed under the supervision of honorable state employees professionally trained in censorship,” he said. “This will further efforts of national reconciliation because they have the public’s best interest in mind, of course.”
Ben Bal said independent media was a threat to the nation’s sovereignty.
“They’re secessionists carving out a state within the state,” he said. “State sovereignty and respect must be imposed because we cannot afford to hand out liberties loosely and without tight control. They are dangerous and might infect thousands, if not millions, with dangerous ideas that might lead to them ending up beaten in protests or locked in our prisons.”
He added that with the government as the sole source of information, people will no longer receive any conflicting reports, ever.
Government sources confirmed that nationalised newspapers and media outlets may keep their old titles if they wish, to maintain their readership and keep the spirit of healthy competition alive between different government departments.