UPDATES

The Economist discusses al-Jazeera’s biases

Mar 12, 2013 | Sharyn Mittelman

The Economist discusses al-Jazeera’s biases
news_item/al_jazeera.gif

Al-Jazeera‘s credibility as an editorially independent news provider is increasingly under the spotlight. AIJAC has previously blogged about growing concerns that al-Jazeera, owned by Qatar, is being used by Qatar to promote its foreign policy interests – in particular the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and Sunni Islamism generally. There have also been reports of journalists resigning from al-Jazeera citing its lack of editorial independence.

Now the Economist has endorsed these concerns in its piece “The Muslim Brotherhood: It’s hard being in charge”. The article notes that despite the early success of the Muslim Brotherhood in the beginning of the ‘Arab Spring’, the Brotherhood’s popularity is now falling, and with it, the popularity of a key sponsor – al-Jazeera:

“Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based satellite television channel, was meanwhile becoming an increasingly bold proponent of Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] causes. Its widely watched programmes cheered on the uprisings, granting privileged airtime to Islamist leaders. Two powerful non-Arab countries, Iran and Turkey, offered starkly contrasting models of Islamist rule, with Turkey, an Al Jazeera favourite, backing a model closer to the Brothers. Western diplomats urged that it was time to embrace the Ikhwan….

Al Jazeera, the Brothers’ faithful mouthpiece, has also seen its ratings plunge, ironically in part due to its success in fostering freedoms that have brought a surge of new local channels. Al Jazeera’s main Arabic broadcast no longer ranks among the ten most-watched in Egypt, for example. Qatar, its tiny, oil-rich sponsor, no longer basks in the Islamists’ popularity. A counter-campaign has widely succeeded in tarring the Gulf emirate with the brush of meddling in other countries’ affairs, promoting the Brotherhood and using its vast wealth to buy up national assets cheaply.”

The issue of al-Jazeera’s credibility is highly relevant to Australia given that al-Jazeera material is being widely aired on Australia’s public broadcasters as part of their news and current affairs programs.  Unlike al-Jazeera, Australian public broadcasters have a legal obligation to remain professional and unbiased. SBS airs al-Jazeera English news for half an hour each weekday, and both ABC and SBS use al-Jazeera English reports and footage in their news broadcasts regularly.

Sharyn Mittelman

 

 

RELATED ARTICLES


While Iran's economy is currently in poor shape, estimates are that a nuclear deal could provide Teheran with up to US$275 billion within a year and US$800 billion over five years (Image: motioncenter, Shutterstock)

International implications of Iran’s economic unrest

May 31, 2022 | Update
Hezbollah does not hide its open affiliation with Iran - as these Hezbollah youth demonstrate - but the Middle Easterners are tired of the poverty, war and chaos that Iranian proxies bring to the countries they operate in. (Photo: nsf2019, Shutterstock)

Election setback for Hezbollah

May 21, 2022 | Update
Shireen Abu Akleh, the well-known Al Jazeera journalist who was killed during a firefight between Palestinians and the IDF in Jenin under unclear circumstances on Wednesday, May 11 (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Controversy follows tragic death of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

May 13, 2022 | Update
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Italian TV: "Hitler also had Jewish blood. It means absolutely nothing…the most ardent antisemites are usually Jews." (Photo: YouTube screenshot)

The implications of Israel’s recent spat with Russia

May 7, 2022 | Update
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hosts Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in January: A new Iran nuclear deal would be a boon to Russia and allied anti-democratic forces (Photo: ITAR-TASS News Agency / Alamy Stock Photo)

Are the Iran nuclear talks deadlocked?

Apr 29, 2022 | Update
Supporters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad gather in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on April 8 to celebrate the attack on a Tel Aviv bar by Raad Hazem (Photo: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo)

Incitement and the latest terror wave in Israel

Apr 14, 2022 | Update

SIGN UP FOR AIJAC EMAILS

RECENT POSTS

(Source: Pixabay)

AIJAC welcomes Victorian swastika ban, and introduction of similar NSW legislation

Naftali Bennett (R), Yair Lapid (L) and former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (credit:Haim Tzach / GPO)

AIJAC’s Ahron Shapiro and Ran Porat interviewed on Israeli political developments on ABC NewsRadio

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (R); Alternative PM and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (C) and Defence Minister Benny Gantz  (L) (Photo: Noam Moscowitz / Knesset spokesperson)

Some key points to understand about the dissolution of Israel’s Government

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay (Image: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)

Israel and the UN: How the world’s only Jewish state has been scapegoated

Image: Shutterstock

Unhealthy obsessions return to the annual World Health Organisation assembly – yet there are signs of positive change

(Source: Pixabay)

AIJAC welcomes Victorian swastika ban, and introduction of similar NSW legislation

Naftali Bennett (R), Yair Lapid (L) and former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (credit:Haim Tzach / GPO)

AIJAC’s Ahron Shapiro and Ran Porat interviewed on Israeli political developments on ABC NewsRadio

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (R); Alternative PM and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (C) and Defence Minister Benny Gantz  (L) (Photo: Noam Moscowitz / Knesset spokesperson)

Some key points to understand about the dissolution of Israel’s Government

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay (Image: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré)

Israel and the UN: How the world’s only Jewish state has been scapegoated

Image: Shutterstock

Unhealthy obsessions return to the annual World Health Organisation assembly – yet there are signs of positive change

SORT BY TOPICS