There is a fundamental difference when we copy Western talk shows and television programmes or imitate them the way their anchors present.
This difference is clearly evident when we watch Western talk shows, in the audacity of the presenters and guests, the talent and ability of the broadcaster or the presenter, their confidence, and the solidity of the legal ground upon which the two parties in the shows are based.
The high-pitched television talk shows and penetrating question shows like Hard Talk, former Crossfire, or the Larry King show, are essentially products of the development of the Fourth Estate in Western countries, and everyone knows that this term is applied to a free and independent media.
Everyone is also aware of the strength of the democratic institutions on which their governments are based. Since there is a clear separation between the three powers – legislature, executive and judiciary – in those countries, the ground is fully prepared for frank and open dialogue and discussion. It is a natural development linked to its roots and the legal and constitutional structures.
On the other hand, what is happening with us is an upheaval and a contradiction of what is happening in free countries. In light of the media flow that the world is witnessing, which means the flow of information in an unlimited manner, and the great development in the modes of its transmission, there is an attempt to plant in our land, that has not yet been legally or constitutionally prepared and has not yet developed, what is happening in the West.
In our region, the three branches of government mentioned above are still not separated clearly and are largely fictitious. The result is that what we get in these imitative debates and television programmes is a distorted and truncated version of their original, which increases the dispute and conflict and remains at their best forms of outcry that rise and fall and bounce, and things seem to take a purely personal turn sometimes, settling accounts and leading to proxy wars.
We have satellite channels with a large amount of freedom but we are in an urgent need of a valid constitutional framework in order to perform its functions and not turn into a tool for strife. In the absence of constitutional guarantees and protection, these debates just become stirring up of strife and rivalries.
It is not enough to import the best presenters from abroad who have ample media experience in the West because the results will not be similar or identical to what they can achieve there. The issue is deeper than that which lies in the structure of the society and the state.
The difference between true presentation and imitation and cloning is that in the case of free countries, these programmes draw their strength from their democracy and constitution, and in the second, in our region, they are just a projection from above that lacks conviction and are built on weak foundation.