Editor quits amid claims of conflict

The launch editor of Emirates Today is quitting the paper amid claims that it is beset with editorial interference from senior management.

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By  Tim Addington Published  February 26, 2006

The launch editor of Emirates Today is quitting the paper amid claims that it is beset with editorial interference from senior management. Jason Leavy will leave the title on 1 April and return to the United Kingdom where he will work as a consultant for Emirates Today’s parent company, the Arab Media Group, in London. In a statement to Campaign, Leavy said: “I can confirm for personal reasons I will now be vacating the chair at Emirates Today, although I will be remaining with AMG. I got married in December and will be heading back to the UK to be with my wife.” But sources at the English language paper, published by Awraq Publishing, have told Campaign that Leavy became increasingly frustrated at the day-to-day role AMG boss Abdullatif Al Sayegh played in editorial decisions. It is alleged that Al Sayegh ordered stories that did not portray the UAE in a positive light to be toned down or pulled altogether. The source said that the breaking point for Leavy came in early January when the newspaper failed to report that 6000 Dubai Transport taxi drivers went on strike for better conditions, despite other English language newspapers in the country running the story. In response to the claims, Al Sayegh praised Leavy’s tenure at the paper and said that any editorial involvement was the result of “certain procedures” the paper had to follow. He said: “I have to show them the way, I have to protect them, consult them and coach them.” In relation to the taxi driver story, Al Sayegh, added: “I don’t think it was the case of running it or not running it. It was something that we had to do more investigation on.”

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