Saudi Gazette

Saudi Gazette

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Saudi Gazette

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Saudi Gazette is the leading English language daily newspaper published in Saudi Arabia.

As of July 1, 2011, Dr Omar S. Elmershedi is the Saudi Gazette Editor-in-Chief.Managing Editor: Shams Ahsan

Policy changes

Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, the Saudi government loosened its visa requirements to attract more Western journalists to report from Saudi Arabia in an effort to open the country to media scrutiny. These new policies also allowed Western journalists to work in the Saudi newspaper industry. Up until 2003, the Gazette's editorial staff consisted largely of Indian and Pakistani expatriate journalists. Since the early 1980s the day-to-day operations were led by editor Ramesh Balan, an expatriate Indian who retired in 2009.

There were early missteps in efforts to open Saudi journalism to Westerners. Journalist Lawrence Wright, on assignment for New Yorker magazine, spent several months observing Gazette journalists before penning “Kingdom of Silence” in 2004. It was a scathing portrait of Saudi journalists’ ethics and journalism skills, and Saudi Arabia’s gender segregation rules and customs. Wright’s visit and subsequent article were an embarrassment to the Gazette and almost derailed the newspaper’s plans to hire Western journalists.

Western influences

The Gazette’s management, however, survived. In 2003, Ahmed...
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