Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MOROCCAN REFORMS

"But others wait in Casablanca... and wait... and wait..."
-Narrator, introduction to Casablanca

Morocco. That's one of those nations that invokes serpentine horn music and veils, an Arabian Nights sort of place, and also the home of Casablanca, the setting of my favorite movie of all time.

Its also the place where this week a new constitution was signed and put into place. This constitution was approved by Kim Mohammed and it includes equality for women, empowering an elected parliament and chief executive, and mandating an independent judiciary. It assigns Berber as the official national language (along with Arabic), and provides for greater individual participation in government.

How much of this will prove to be valid and binding will be seen, but it is a positive step in response to pro-democracy protests and gatherings by the subjects of Morocco, and nobody was shot or clubbed in the process.

The first I heard about it was in a Jennifer Rubin column in the Washington Post (via Instapundit). Why is this not bigger news? It passed the 18th, but none of the blogs I go to mentioned it until now. Shouldn't a major change promoting democracy in the Middle East be more noted?

Rubin complains that the legacy media ignored this story because it doesn't involve violence and bloodshed but the new media blew it off as well. Part of that is understandable; most new media is actually parasitic, feeding off the old media for its information. That's why, while I'm critical of how the legacy media goes about its business, I like and support them in principle: they still get the information for me.

This kind of story is really good news, if I'd been trolling news sites more diligently I might have seen it in the Post or on BBC earlier and it would have gone up yesterday. It seems to me that while we kick the old media for its "if it bleeds it leads" mentality and sensationalism, blogs are at least as guilty if not more so.

Too often we bloggers will go for the red meat first. It makes sense, in a way. Bloggers aren't writing to share information and bring news to people, we tend to write about what interests us and stirs our passions, usually anger. And you don't get links and hits by writing about good news, usually. But then the new media complains about the old being so bad news focused and sensationalistic at the same time.

So: good job Washington Post for focusing on something we didn't bring up, and great for the people of Morocco that their government is at least pretending to bring greater liberty and reforms. Lets hope its for real.

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