The new player was in the middle of a news bulletin, reporting on the Egyptian army’s blowing tanks at a Cairo mosque, in which members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been blocked. It was high drama at first and Al Jazeera was at the top of their game covering the tumult in Egypt after the army resumed a few years ago.
But then the script went wrong. The newsreader was taken and said that the shots were also fired from inside the besieged mosque. What he said was against the narrative that based in Doha the chain based in Doha, always accused of being a supporter of the Muslim Brother wanted to build, and was quickly replaced. After a brief period of news, the newsletter continued with a different anchor.
The attitude the network has played that night in 2013 also illustrates why other nations in its neighborhood, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, are alarmed. The output of the chain is elegant and stellar journalism, but often rabieux snores for a region that has little freedom of the press. The chain’s dynamic route coverage is also at the heart of the diplomatic conflict between Qatar and the bloc of Saudi-led nations. Among others, who want to do before Qatar ties are normalized, countries want Al Jazeera is closed and the “threat” stops.
Why so many countries that look red to see Al Jazeera is not difficult to guess. The Gulf is not a place for press freedom and that includes Qatar, which has recently blocked an independent news website, Doha News.
Reports even a pet market stolen a local souk or anything that portrays the realm in a rather bad light can invite you to visit the dreaded ICD. A Qatari poet condemned to life to write a poem against the king had only a superficial mention in the local media, including Al Jazeera; The expulsion of a foreign journalist after being stripped and locked up in prison for being diagnosed with HIV a few years ago showed that the media was the right place in the country.
Much of the opprobrium Al Jazeera is reserved for the rest of the region where, mostly despot leaders, they are open to thoughts, but repugnant critics. Country name and all have imprisoned any Al Jazeera journalists, is expelled from the channel at one time or another in their report.
There are a few years, the station Peter Greste and two months he spent in Egyptian prison for his reports. Today, Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein has been behind bars in Egypt for nearly six months.
Practical journalism that the channel is mostly exemplary. The deep pockets of Al Jazeera allow you to hire the best and brightest and the newsroom from all continents and nationalities is a mini-United Nations. More boots on the spot in places like the Arab world and Africa gives you an edge over other international rivals.
But the hunger lines simmer underneath and they are mainly related to religion. Under its open multiculturalism and globalization, Al Jazeera at its heart remains an Arab Muslim channel. Top managers and several editors might be Westerners, but critics call editorials are necessarily taken by those in the region.
So there are many shades of Al Jazeera. His English arms, started in 2006, are soft and sophisticated. The original Arab channel that first courted international fame and notoriety, along with Osama Ben Laden’s tapes a few years after its release in 1996, is a bit more direct. Mubashr Misr, the local variant of the Arab chain was much more stormy and bitter.
The line between journalism and activism is expected to be blurred given the history and personal preferences of executives. Many in the press room of Al Jazeera were put in trouble and outraged to see Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood being ousted by the military as president of Egypt, especially to be Muslim and Egyptian.