A Big Change at Al Jazeera

Friday, September 23, 2011


This week Wadah Khanfar stepped down as Director General at Al Jazeera after Wikileaks released cables revealing that he had altered coverage in response to pressure from the US. Or he left as a result of politics within Al Jazeera. Or he was pushed out for other reasons entirely.  Bob talked about the possible reasons for Khanfar's departure with Lawrence Pintak, author of The New Arab Journalist: Mission and Identity in a Time of Turmoil and Dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

Comments [5]


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Mar. 07 2013 08:41 AM
Joanna Hamil from Siena, Italy

Today, Oct 17, 2011, I saw the worst Inside Story production I've ever seen!!!!! The guests of Mike Hana were obviously not willing to see anything of value in OWS, but no mention was made of the anger at corporate capitalism's influence on government, buying it. The Koch brothers, union busting, the Citizen's United decision, Steve Job's Apple factories in China having their workers on suicide watch, etc.

Does the change in the news director at Al Jazeera have any influence on this swing to telling one sided stories on AJE? This episode of Inside Story sounded like FOX news. Disgusting!!!!!

Oct. 17 2011 08:16 AM
Christopher LeFay from Istanbul

A follow up: a review of Al Jazeera content for reporting on Bahrain for the last 2 months reveals approximately 180 minutes of programming of which Bahrain was the topic; during the same period, NPR presented about 21 minutes of content. The tenor of the preponderance of Al Jazeera's coverage has been unequivocally critical of the Bahraini ruling royalty and sympathetic to the cause of democratic protesters. Lawrence Pintak's assertion that "the coverage of Bahrain has been, shall we say limited in the extreme or as someone in the [Al Jazeera] newsroom said to me, too balanced" doesn't reflect my perceptions; the disconnect renders the dependent characterization and speculation on Khanfar's position undermined -as well as general faith in integrity of the entire report.

Sep. 30 2011 02:51 AM
Christopher LeFay from Istanbul

As a regular viewer of Al Jazeera (>5 hours a week), the assertion that the news agency has presented thin or soft coverage of Bahrain is mystifying. Compared to my other primary news sources (NPR, BBC, and DemocracyNow), coverage has been comprehensive- illuminating such issues as the ethnicity and religious adherence of the population compared to the mostly foreign mercenary military, the ruling royalty, the part played by US military interest, and Saudi Arabia influence and direct action. Were it not for Al Jazeera, the plight of the average Bahraini would be unknown to me (an American living abroad). Has there been less coverage due to edicts from Qatar? Perhaps- but this is only noticeable in contrast to its own coverage as a whole. Compared to every body else, they continue to fill a coverage hole. Your characterization was misleading. Or maybe not - perhaps NPR, the BBC, and US Network News are all Qatari puppets. Before making such an assertion, I suggest laying a sound foundation of journalism.

A minor critique- keep up the good work; On the Median remains my preferred source of non-Qatari influenced reporting!

Sep. 26 2011 10:07 AM
Penelope Reedy from Pocatello, Idaho

I'm disappointed this week's program doesn't have commentary on the Wall Street sit-ins and Mainstream media's reluctance to report on it.

Sep. 25 2011 12:53 PM

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