Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Inside Al Jazeera

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Inside Al Jazeera

Inside Al Jazeera

About the Author- Rick Zednick

  • Free-lance journalist living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 
  • He spent twelve days in Qatar.
  • In 1995, he co-founded The Slovak Spectator, which remains the only English- language newspaper in Slovakia (at the time of this review).
  • He wrote Inside Al Jazeera in March/April 2002 Columbia Journalism Review.
About the Article
  • Al-Jazeera looks like an American newsroom but has stations that are set across the Arab world: Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, Abu Dhabi, etc.
  • The journalists represent all 22 members of the Arab League.
  • Mohamed Jasem Al Ali is Al Jazeera's managing director.
  • Al Jazeera translates as the "Peninsula" and was established by emiri decree in February 1996.
    Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani seized power in 1995 from his father created Al Jazeera in an effort to modernize Qatar. He gave $137 million to Al Jazeera thinking that they would be self-sustaining in 5 years of their debut.
  • Al Jazeera has grown and has 500 people employed which includes 70 journalist. They have offices in Washington  New York, London, Paris, Brussels, Moscow, etc. It is the only 24 hour Arab news station.
  • The most popular program is The Opposite Direction hosted by Faisal Al Qasim. It draws out guests with opposing views and introduces viewer call-ins. 
  • The Taliban forced all foreign journalists to leave Kabul only to keep Al Jazeera. They rebroadcast portions of a 90 minute interview with bin Laden in June 1999.
  • On November 13, 1999 a pair of 500 pound U.S. bomb destroyed Al Jazeera's Kabul bureau. The U.S. stated they did not know that Al Jazeera was there but Al Jazeera begs to differ.
  • Many think that Al Jazeera was bin Laden's "mouthpiece."
  • Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice appeared on Al Jazeera as well as British Prime Minister Tony Blair. 
  • Many Arab countries also denounced the station. Some of them were Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Jordan, etc. 
  • Pepsico and General Electric canceled advertising campaigns worth a combination of $3 million. Other Arab stations earn 90 % of revenue from advertising while Al Jazeera only had 40%. 
  • CNN made an affiliation with the station after September 11. ABC, BBC and others soon followed. 
  • Al Jazeera makes profitable revenue by selling exclusive videos of Osama bin Laden. 3 minute clips of him have sold for as much as $250,000 a piece.
Quotes In The Article
  • "Americans violate our land and occupy it and steal the Muslims' possessions and when faced with resistance by Muslims they call it terrorism." Osama bin Laden.
  • "They (Al Jazeera) know the taste of the Arab street, and the Arab street is anti-American. They are just like the New York Post. This is not very good." Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • "Are we a mouthpiece for bin Laden? Maybe, but that would make us Bush's mouth piece as well. He gets more airtime, actually." Al Jazeera news producer Dana Suyyagh.

By Zelia D'souza


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