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Morocco: Websites and Newspapers

With the world going digital, many newspapers are meeting the challenge by making their news pages accessible online. The Arab world is no different. Moroccan blogger M S Hjiouij [Ar] complains about the standard of a popular newspaper's website in this post.

He says:

لو أردت أن أتحدث عن الإنترنت المغربي فلن أنتهي أبدًا، وأنتم تعرفون ولعي بالتركيز على أنصاف الأكواب الفارغة. سأكتفي هذه المرة بفقرة واحدة:

طيلة ساعات وأنا أحاول الوصول إلى موقع جريدة المساء المغربية التي تعتبر الأكثر شعبية على الإطلاق في المغرب. لكن بدون فائدة. الموقع كأنه مقبرة سيارة أو مزبلة خردة. قد نقبل أن تكون مواقع الجرائد الأخرى التي لا يقرأها حتى صحفيوها سيئة ورديئة وغير قابلة للوصول. لكن أن يكون موقع الجريدة الأكثر مبيعا، والأكثر دخلا، كوجه إمرأة مصاب بالجذام، وفوق ذلك تتواصل الأعطاب التقنية بشكل شبه دائم فإن الأمر لا يطاق. وفي الأخير تنشر الجريدة بكل فخر أن عدد زوار موقعها يحطم الأرقام القياسية! طبعا هو يحطم الأرقام القياسية لأنه المستخدم يواصل تحديث الصفحة مئة مرة حتى يظهر له نص المقال كاملا

If I wanted to discuss the Moroccan internet scene, we would never hear the end of it. You know my fascination with focusing on half-empty cups. I will be content this time with one paragraph:

For hours I have been trying to access Al Massa's newspaper website. The paper is considered the most popular ever in Morocco. I had no luck. The site looked like a scrapyard. We can accept the fact that the sites of other newspapers whose journalists don't even read them to be bad and inaccessible – but it is unacceptable for the paper with the largest circulation and income to have a website which consistently suffers from technical problems. At the end, the paper announces that the number of people who visit its website has broken previous records! The number of visitors will of course hit new records as readers have to refresh their pages 100 times for them to be able to read half an article.

1 comment

  • And don’t forget that “almassae” (Arabic for “the evening”) comes out in the morning!
    I did criticize this paper elsewhere on the Web, but I must say that I loved a particular article one of its journalists wrote about a shantytown in Casablanca. That’s one of the best pieces I’ve ever read in the Arab press.

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