Four days before the start of the World Cup, Qatar’s dealings with the international media caused trouble. During a live broadcast, a Danish camera team is harassed by security guards. The officers issued a clear threat.
Rasmus Tantholdt hadn’t even really started his live broadcast from Doha when a golf cart drives through the picture in the background. It parks right next to the journalist. Three men get out. While one of them is still waving friendly at the camera, another tries to cover the lens directly. Tantholdt is interrupted in the middle of the Danish broadcaster TV 2. By Qatari security guards. It’s a scene that caused a lot of trouble four days before the start of the World Cup and gives a foretaste of how the next few weeks could go for the international press.
“They invited the whole world to come here. Why can’t we film?” Tantholdt asks the security forces while the camera is running. They had asked him and his cameraman to stop filming. Apparently there is no permit. Tantholdt, however, can show exactly this. The security guards, however, care little. Instead, one of the men threatens to destroy the camera if the team doesn’t stop filming.
After half an hour, the transmission has long since been interrupted, the situation was resolved, reports Tantholdt. The security chief confirmed the permits. “And then I almost got an apology. But not quite. But I did get a cup of pomegranate juice, so maybe that was some sort of apology. They are certainly not used to a free press in their country,” the correspondent said afterwards. He has since received an official apology from the International Media Office and Qatar’s Supreme Council.
“The more dirty laundry you have in the basement…”
For the journalist, however, the process is a clear indication of Qatar’s strategy in dealing with the media. “They don’t like that journalists are now flocking to migrant camps and filming and interviewing gay people on the streets. Revealing things Qatar is reluctant to show the rest of the world. They want to show a big football party, but apparently, as we can see, it has to be done with their permission,” Tantholdt said.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.