Al Jazeera is a terrorist media?

07/07/2017

Qatar-based media channel al-Jazeera and 21 other ‘terrorist’ news websites were banned in Egypt on Wednesday, the ministry of interior said, just hours after a media war erupted between Gulf states and Doha. Al Jazeera has also been blocked in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. So is Al Jazeera truly a terrorist media?
Al Jazeera literally "The Island", though referring to the Arabian Peninsula in context, also known as JSC (Jazeera Satellite Channel), is a state-funded broadcaster in DohaQatar, owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network, which is partly funded by the House of Thani, the ruling family of Qatar. Initially launched as an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel, Al Jazeera has since expanded into a network with several outlets, including the Internet and specialty TV channels in multiple languages.
Al Jazeera is a major global news organization, with 80 bureaus around the world. The original Al Jazeera channel's willingness to broadcast dissenting views, for example on call-in shows, created controversies in the Arab States of the Persian Gulf. The station gained worldwide attention following the outbreak of the war in Afghanistan, when its office there was the only channel to cover the war live.
Al Jazeera is owned by the government of Qatar. Al Jazeera officials have stated that they are editorially independent from the government of Qatar. However, this assertion is disputed, and many have accused Al Jazeera of being a propaganda outlet for the Qatari government. The network is sometimes perceived to have mainly Islamist perspectives, promoting the Muslim Brotherhood, and having a pro-Sunni and an anti-Shia bias in its reporting of regional issues. It is also accused of having an anti-Western bias, although the Arab Gulf States Institute agency is funded by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who are against Al Jazeera. However, Al Jazeera insists it covers all sides of a debate; it says it presents Israel's view, Iran's view and even aired videos released by Osama bin Laden.
News companies hate becoming the story. Unfortunately for Qatar's state-backed media network Al Jazeera, it's now the focus of a diplomatic crisis in the Middle East.
The closure of the network and its affiliates is one of 13 demands made by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt for restoring diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, according to multiple media reports.
The coalition of countries led by Saudi Arabia broke off relations with Qatar earlier this month. They have accused the tiny Gulf state of supporting terrorism. Qatar built Al Jazeera into a global brand. But the network has made enemies from Riyadh to Cairo with its criticism of Arab governments and coverage of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsy.
Al Jazeera first garnered attention in the U.S. after it aired videos of Osama bin Laden justifying the 9-11 attacks. During the Iraq War, top Bush administration officials were highly critical of its coverage. Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld said its accounts of civilian casualties during the battle for Falluja were "outrageous nonsense."
The network broadcast messages from Osama bin Laden, prompting outraged criticism from the US, where it was referred to as a "terror network”. In 2003, an Al Jazeera staff member was killed and three other employees were wounded by an American airstrike during the U.S. push into Baghdad. American officials denied the bureau had been targeted.
While Al Jazeera has stated that it was 'not partisan to any ideology, group or government', the network's Arabic political coverage was problematic. Recently, however, several top journalists have left, saying the station has developed a clear political agenda. It seems pretty clear from watching some of Al Jazeera's Arabic coverage and the coverage of Al Jazeera's Egyptian channel Mubasher [Misr] that there was a bias in favour of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Al-Jazeera has over 3,000 staff members and 65 correspondent offices worldwide -- and viewers in some 50 million households throughout the Arab world. But it also has a problem: More than ever before, critics contend that the broadcaster is following a clear political agenda, and not adhering to the principles of journalistic independence.
A prominent correspondent who, until one year ago, used to report in Beirut for the network, says: "Al-Jazeera takes a clear position in every country from which it reports -- not based on journalistic priorities, but rather on the interests of the Foreign Ministry of Qatar," he says. "In order to maintain my integrity as a reporter, I had to quit."
In a series of articles in the Qatari daily Al-Watan, editor Ahmad Ali harshly criticized the administration of Al-Jazeera TV, which broadcasts from Qatar. This was the first time that any Qatari body had dared to directly and openly criticize the channel, and as such Ali's series sparked a wave of reactions in other Qatari papers.
Yet, while if Al Jazeera is a terrorist media is still unclear, the organization and the original Arabic channel in particular have sometimes been criticized and have been involved in several controversies. And, for these, its coverage seems not to be trustful enough./.


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All comments [ 4 ]


Unknown 10/7/17 13:19

Established two decades ago in Doha, Al Jazeera helped to expand Qatar's political influence by broadcasting Arabic-language programs that were seen in millions of living rooms around the region.

Only Solidar 10/7/17 13:19

Al Jazeera is sensationalist, Islamic, and pan-Arabic, but it mirrors Doha's policy concerns in more ways than it might care to acknowledge.

Pack Cassiopian 10/7/17 13:21

Al Jazeera has faced headwinds on the economic front, as well. Despite winning plaudits for its journalism, the network abandoned its U.S. network -- Al Jazeera America -- in 2016 after it failed to attract an audience.

Jane smartnic 10/7/17 20:59

For a long time, I have thought that Al Jazeera is a terrorist news station, and now it seems to be true!

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