March 27, 2006

Not so independent journalism

The New York Times had the usual, and now standard, credulous article about al-Jazeera, with a focus on its new attempt to enter the English-language market. We are significantly informed that on al-Jazeera:

Guests have questioned the right of the Saud family to rule Saudi Arabia.

No surprise there given that the channel is controlled by Qatar which does not have close relations with the next door Gulf kleptocracy. Such questions do not elevate al-Jazeera to the level of true journalism.

As for the notion that al-Jazeera is about debate, the questions that The New York Times did not ask were: how much debate has their been on al-Jazeera about the right of the al Thani clan to rule? Has al-Jazeera given extensive coverage to one of the al Thani prince's criminal behaviour and his subsequent outrageous release? What debate has there been of Qatar's role in sheltering Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? What debate has there been of the issues of class and race, covered in this article about Dubai?

Update 1: They sell Carlsberg in Qatar, by the way.

Andrew Apostolou (yes, we have no pyjamas).

Posted by Howard Baskerville at March 27, 2006 10:58 PM
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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