On The Listening Post this week: Conflicting narratives and the mystery of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance. Plus, native advertising and the shifting economics of the news.

The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi

The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi Arabian journalist in exile who walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week and never came out, is the subject of intense, international media speculation.

Turkish officials are theorising Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, and the Saudis insist that he came and left. And it has produced a level of news coverage seldom afforded Arab dissidents who just disappear.

That’s because Khashoggi was not just a dissident, he was a former insider-turned-critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and he had a platform at his disposal – The Washington Post.

His disappearance not only sends a chilling message to independent Saudi voices everywhere, it takes Mohammed bin Salman’s well-known intolerance for internal criticism, and the House of Saud’s utter ambivalence to the disapproval of outsiders, to a new level.

Source: Al Jazeera