By Joel CampagnaThe Arab world continues to lag behind the rest of the globe in civil and political rights, including press freedom. Despotic regimes of varying political shades regularly limit news that they think will undermine their power. Hopes that a new generation of leaders would tolerate criticism in the press have proved illusory, with many reforms rolled back in 2002. Meanwhile, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been deadly for journalists and remains the dominant news story for local and Pan-Arab media, which have aggressively covered the fighting's violent twists and turns, winning influence in the Arab world and beyond.
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