The “Arab Spring” or “Arab Winter” as it has been called, has shaken Arab TV’s Al-Jazeera’s credibility. Top figures in Al-Jazeera have QUIT over the Qatari owned news channel insistence they NOT report the TRUTH, but distort, and manipulate it. Al-Jazeera was granted permission to broadcast from the USA when the west learned they could manipulate the people to the TRUTH.
Report by RussiaToday
The Managing Director, the Corespondent, the Producer are among quit a few who have decided to stop distorting the truth of Qatars owned Al-Jazeera channel. These former employees claim “agenda setting and bias reporting.”
In an exclusive interview, Al-Jazeera’s Media Relations Manager explains why, Al-Jazeera is a media propaganda channel for the west, Saudi and Qatar. It distorts the truth.
Uploaded by JJJamaal
The Producer explains why he quit Al-Jazeera
Uploaded by SyriansWorldwide
Their biased coverage is undermining viewers’ faith in the Middle Eastern satellite channels that sprang up in the 1990s and 2000s.
The Syrian Electronic Army was able to HACK inside the emails of journalists for Al-Jazeera and learned the TRUTH. The Al-Jazeera reporters were seeing one thing, and told to report another.
Despite al-Jazeera’s role in the Arab uprisings, its coverage has been criticized for bias. Photograph: Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images
Twenty-two years ago my father, a Lebanese immigrant in Sierra Leone, bought a huge satellite dish with tens of channels to replace the radio that we had used to listen to the BBC’s Arabic service. I was only 10 at the time but I remember people gathering at our place to see CNN’s coverage of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. People always saw CNN as representing America, but still they wanted to know what was happening. This continued with the US-led intervention to liberate Kuwait.
In those days there were still no credible Arab channels to cover the war. We only had the state-run TV stations – those that would always follow their leaders’ and kings’ agenda, even if the whole universe was on fire.
A few years later things started to change, and the turning point was in 1994 when the BBC decided to launch its Saudi-funded Arabic TV. The project attracted tens of Arab journalists who thought for a while that they were on the threshold of a huge shift in the Arab media landscape.
Two years later the BBC-Saudi project faced a serious dilemma when the channel aired a documentary about a Saudi arms deal. Within weeks it was off air and its journalists were abandoned to their fate – though not for long.
In 1996 a new channel came to life. Qatar launched al-Jazeera and hired most of those who were dumped by BBC. This time they were assured that nothing would stop the new station, mainly because there were no limits, no red lines, and an unlimited budget.
In the Arab countries, where people are used to listening on a daily basis to speeches by their leaders or members of ruling families, the new channel introduced counter-fire talk shows and documentaries from hotspots with an emphasis on controversial issues. For the first time, people saw opposition figures from around the Arab world saying in Arabic what they had only dared to say before on western channels in English or French.
Over the past 16 years al-Jazeera has emerged as the most credible news source in the region, though it was also joined by other channels such as al-Arabiya, Iran’s Alalam, the American al-Hurra, Russia’s RT and others.
The new Arab TV channels seemed to be flourishing and gaining credibility until the Arab spring came along and they began providing daily coverage of the revolutions. From Tunisia to Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria, people expected TV stations to embrace their dreams and defend their causes, but it seems that major networks decided to adopt some revolutions and dump others.
One example was the way they dealt with the uprising in Bahrain.
It was clear that Gulf-financed stations were more interested in regional security than Bahrainis’ dreams of democracy and freedom and their revolt against tyranny.
Meanwhile, mainstream Arab channels gave the Syrian revolution a large portion of airtime, but things took a different path when they started interfering with the coverage.
I was one of those who experienced it when al-Jazeera, the channel I used to work for, refused to air footage of gunmen fighting the Syrian regime on the borders between Lebanon and Syria. I saw tens of gunmen crossing the borders in May last year – clear evidence that the Syrian revolution was becoming militarized.
(Chechen terrorists traveled to Syria to fight the Syrian Arab Army. Just one group from 29 different countries…)
In this video uploaded by Eretz Zen, an Al-Jazeera reporter quits on air
This didn’t fit the required narrative of a clean and peaceful uprising, and so my seniors asked me to forget about gunmen.
It was clear to me, though, that these instructions were not coming from al-Jazeera itself: that the decision was a political one taken by people outside the TV centre – the same people who asked the channel to cover up the situation in Bahrain.
I felt that my dream of working for a main news channel in the region was becoming a nightmare. The principles I had learned during 10 years of journalism were being disrespected by a government that – whatever the editorial guidelines might say – believed it owned a bunch of journalists who should do whatever they were asked.
Today, Arab media is divided. Media outlets have become like parties; politics dominates the business and on both sides of the landscape and people can’t really depend on one channel to get their full news digest.
It is as if the audience have to do journalists’ homework by cross-checking sources and watching two sides of a conflict to get one piece of news.
The problem isn’t who is telling lies and who is accurate. Media organisations are giving the part of the story that serves the agenda of their financier, so it’s clear that only part of the truth is exposed while the other part is buried. What is obvious is that the investment in credibility during the past two decades has been in vain.
The elite are once again dealing with Arab news channels the way they used to do with Arab state media.
Once again, people have started relying more on western media to know what’s going on. That is reflected in the number of viewers the BBC Arabic TV channel gained during the past year – reportedly more than 10m while leading Arab channels have been losing viewers.
Governments who own media organisations in the Middle East, and impose their agendas, are pushing them towards journalistic suicide. They are taking the Arab media landscape back to the early 1990s rather than moving it forward.