Al Jazeera Means “the peninsula” or “the island” The most controversial television station in the world Located in the Middle East, country of Qatar
The station gained worldwide attention following the September 11, 2001 attacks, when it broadcast video statements by Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders • Al Jazeera channel was started in 1996 • Al Jazeera's availability (via satellite) throughout the Middle East changed the television landscape of the region.
Before Al Jazeera, many Middle Eastern citizens were unable to watch TV channels other than state-censored national TV stations. • Censorship…The control of what people read, write, see, or hear. • Done to protect a ruling authority from possible downfall • Done to protect people from the wrong ideas and messages. (As claimed by certain governments)
Also done to protect your rights of not being exposed to indecent and obscene material • Carrollton High School does not censor • Censorship in the USA is illegal. Control over indecent material is acceptable. Complete banning of obscene material is acceptable. • Censorship was made illegal in the Communications Act of 1934 • Side note….Communications Act of 1934 was updated with the Communications Act of 1996.
It is widely believed internationally that inhabitants of the Arab world are given limited information by their governments and media, and that what is conveyed is biased towards the governments' views. • Beware of governments that control all the media and don’t allow free press. Example is Zimbabwe. There is only one point of view, one truth, one reality…what the government says.
Al Jazeera is an international Arabic-language 24h news channel …the CNN of the Middle East. • Al Jazeera introduced a level of freedom of speech on TV that was previously unheard of in many middle east countries. • Al Jazeera is popular because of its bold, uncensored news coverage, its unbridled political debates, and its call-in-show formats that tackle a range of sensitive social, political, and cultural issues.
Al Jazeera was the only station allowed to have live coverage of the USA attack on Afghanistan. All other stations were told to get out. • Al Jazeera’s reporter Tayseer Allouni is in jail for helping Al Qaeda. • The USA may have tried to get him in Afghanistan by accidentally blowing up Al Jazeera’sKabul Bureau. • We also may have tried to get him when the USA accidentally blew up Al Jazeera’s Baghdad Bureau. (Along with silencing the station)
It was later reported that President Bush had wanted to bomb al-Jazeera's headquarters in Qatar too, but had been discouraged from doing so by the British prime minister, Tony Blair.
What is a Television Bureau • Where a tv station or tv network will set up an office in another country. Done for better news coverage. Al Jazeera has a bureau in Washington DC
CNN Bureaus Havana, Cuba Hong Kong, China (Asian regional headquarters) Islamabad, Pakistan Istanbul, Turkey Jakarta, Indonesia Jerusalem, Israel Johannesburg, South Africa Lagos, Nigeria London, United Kingdom(Eu headquarters) Madrid, Spain Manila, Philippines (small bureau) Mexico City, Mexico Moscow, Russia Nairobi, Kenya (small bureau) New Delhi, India Rome, Italy Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (small bureau) São Paulo, Brazil (small bureau) Seoul, South Korea Tokyo, Japan • Amman, Jordan (small bureau) • Athens, Greece (small bureau) • Baghdad, Iraq • Bangkok, Thailand • Berlin, Germany • Beijing, China • Beirut, Lebanon • Bogotá, Colombia (small bureau) • Brussels, Belgium (small bureau) • Buenos Aires, Argentina • Cairo, Egypt • Dubai, United Arab Emirates • Frankfurt, Germany (small bureau)
Al Jazeera has tried to live up to its motto: "The Opinion and the Other Opinion" They also follow "We get both sides of the story." • Thanks to its aggressive coverage, Al-Jazeera claims at least 50-million viewers in the Arab world and 175,000 who pay to watch it it on cable in North America. Its Web site gets 17-million hits a day.
Possible problems • Al-Jazeera's alleged anti-American editorial bias. • The supposed connections of some reporters to Al-Queda • Acting as a mouthpiece for Osama bin Laden • The extremely graphic pictures and videos that are shown on the channel and how those images affect their home audience and the world audience.
The CIA was concerned that bin Laden might be sending secret messages through his videotaped statements • Condoleeza Rice, the national security adviser, called and visited with top American network and newspaper representatives, urging them to consider the dangers of airing bin Laden’s views. • Condoleeza Rice requested networks not to air Al-Jazeera's bin Laden footage because he might be transmitting coded messages, they immediately said they wouldn't
U.S. government officials asked Al Jazeera to not air Osama’s videos in full as they may contain secret messages to terrorists. • Journalists and others in the Arab world see the United States as hypocritical for pressuring Al-Jazeera to modify its coverage. They say we represent no censorship yet we are asking Al Jazeera to censor.
Al Jazeera English • Al Jazeera English is the world’s first global English language news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East. • The station claims to be the first global high-definition television network. • The channel was launched on 15 November2006.
The channel had expected to reach around 40 million households, but it far exceeded that launch target, reaching 80 million homes • The channel is now one of the three biggest global English language 24 hour news channels, the other two being BBC World and CNN International • Al Jazeera English has 21 supporting bureaux which gather and produce news.
AJE will have broader horizons, aiming to draw a billion-plus English speakers from Madagascar to Maine -- for Muslims, yes, but also for anyone else who wants another perspective on the day's news. • In other words, AJE is hoping to become the first non-Western source to challenge the global info-supremacy of CNN and the BBC.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has accused al-Jazeera of "vicious lies" and "a pattern of playing propaganda over and over" in its coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. • And U.S. officials have been upset by footage of American military deaths and al-Jazeera's unstinting coverage of the wars' effect on civilians. • American news channels tend to "show the missiles taking off," "Al-Jazeera shows them landing."
Al Hurra • Is a United States-based satellite TV channel, sponsored by the U.S. government. • Al Hurra (which means "the free one" in Arabic) started broadcasting Valentine's Day 2004 as an answer to Al Jazeera’s unfavorable reporting. • The station is forbidden from broadcasting within the U.S. itself under the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act. • 22 countries in the Middle East region
US Information and Educational Exchange Act of1948 is also called the Smith-Mundt Act • Signed into law by president Harry S. Truman on January 27, 1948 • The legislation funded global propaganda outreach using all the latest communication technologies. • Prohibited US distribution of information intended for foreign audiences. Protection from our own propaganda.
Turned government-funded broadcasting and information programs into a Cold Warclassified weapon. • Our international radio station the VOA or Voice of America may broadcast to other countries and not to our own. • Radio Sawa is our arabic language radio station in the Middle East. It falls under this act. • TV/RADIO MARTI…our Anti-Castro station in Florida falls under this act.
Alhurra has pledged to provide accurate and balanced news. Arab audiences have been skeptical of the channel's motives. • Alhurra’s broadcasting is varied, targeted at the general public, particularly those under the age of 30. Programs include entertainment, documentaries, and news. Alhurra has expressed their intention to be as unbiased as possible.
Propaganda • Propaganda is a type of message aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of people. • Propaganda can be deliberately misleading
"Propaganda is neutrally defined as a systematic form of purposeful persuasion that attempts to influence the emotions, attitudes, opinions, and actions of specified target audiences for ideological, political or commercial purposes through the controlled transmission of one-sided messages (which may or may not be factual) via mass and direct media channels. A propaganda organization employs propagandists who engage in propagandism—the applied creation and distribution of such forms of persuasion."—R.A. Nelson, A Chronology and Glossary of Propaganda in the United States, 1996
Alhurra's reporters are told not to refer to the U.S. presence in Iraq as an occupation. • Those who set off explosive devices attached to their bodies are called suicide bombers, not martyrs." • Al Hurra reporters covering Iraq "focus on more human-interest and positive stories. For instance, 'electricity has arrived in this neighborhood,' not 'this neighborhood still doesn't have electricity'.
The channel sees its role as promoting democracy and winning over public opinion in the Arab world. • They have 20 million viewers • They are not really effective with their programming yet…still trying to figure out how to approach the culture of their audience.