imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Pro-Israeli editors seek to influence Al-Jazeera International English Satellite TV

by Khalid Amayreh Saturday, Sep. 16, 2006 at 1:48 PM

When the Qatar-based pan-Arab Al-Jazeera Satellite Television announced two years ago plans to launch Al-Jazeera International (AJI), many people around the world hoped the new satellite channel would provide a genuine alternative to the notoriously biased western media, which often operate under a certain Zionist influence.

Pro-Israeli editors seek to influence Al-Jazeera International English Satellite TV

Khalid Amayreh, The Electronic Intifada, 15 September 2006

When the Qatar-based pan-Arab Al-Jazeera Satellite Television announced two years ago plans to launch Al-Jazeera International (AJI), many people around the world hoped the new satellite channel would provide a genuine alternative to the notoriously biased western media, which often operate under a certain Zionist influence.

The new channel, the launching of which has been postponed several times for a variety of reasons, will provide both regional and global perspective to a potential audience of hundreds of millions of English speakers.

AJI is the world's first English-language news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East, with news management rotating around broadcasting centers in Athens, Doha, London, Washington, D.C., and Kuala Lumpur.

AJI has already attracted a number of luminaries in the world of TV broadcasting, including such people as Sir David Frost and Riz Khan.

However, it seems that disappointment may be awaiting many of those who expect to see a world TV channel that is fair and objective and, especially, free from the usual Anglo-American (and Israeli) worldview.

In fact, there are already ominous signs showing that pro-Israeli sympathizers, some of them with a background in the BBC, are trying to control the editorial policies of the new channel, all under the rubric of professionalism and journalistic standards.

This writer, who has been working for aljazeera.net/English (which has now been incorporated into AJI) has discovered by chance efforts by some senior western editors at AJI to minimize and avoid as much as possible the publication of articles, especially news and feature stories, portraying Israel in a bad light and exposing Israeli occupation practices against the Palestinian people.

This trend has become quite conspicuous lately. Aljazeera.net/English, for example, failed to report important news worthy events from Israel, such as the admission by an Israeli military officer that the Israeli air force dropped over a million cluster bomblets on Lebanon during the recent war with Hizbullah.

Similarly, a story quoting Eifi Eitam, head of a right-wing Israeli party, as calling for the expulsion of Palestinians from the occupied territories, was left unreported, even after AJI was notified of the subject.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of similar examples, all showing that AJI is knowingly and deliberately avoiding serious coverage of the Palestinian plight, especially in its feature section which abounds with all kinds of stories covering various, including outlandish, subjects and events.

Earlier this year, one of the pro-Israeli editors contemptuously rejected a human feature story on a Palestinian college student from al-Najah University in Nablus who lost her right eye to an Israeli rubber bullet while on her way home from campus.

The senior editor, Vince Ryan, argued that the subject was not a priority and that aljazeera.net/English would prepare a more comprehensive coverage of similar cases later. Of course, the promised coverage never materialized.

Eventually, thanks to intensive pleading by this writer, the article, one of the best I've ever written, was posted. (see "Rubber Bullets menace West Bank, aljazeera.net/English")

Ryan apparently never forgave me my "audacity" as evident from his subsequent behavior. In the third week of June this year, I submitted an article on Palestinian children and minors killed by the Israeli army and para-military Jewish settlers. The article was based on statistical information released by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

However, instead of thanking me for the article, Ryan, upon seeing the article, and without giving it a second thought, wrote to me that I was lying and that the information contained in the article was false. His vindictive and nervous tone was very telling and spoke volumes.

Unable to reason with the man, who by the way never ever accepted even a single proposal - and I submitted many - for a feature article he viewed as "anti-Israeli," I turned to Russell Merryman, Editor-in-Chief for Web and News Media services at AJI, who is probably the most pro-Israeli operative in AJI today.

However, instead of treating the matter professionally, Merryman launched a tirade against me, accusing me of lacking professionalism and violating al-Jazeera's professional ethics.

He argued that employing terms such as "martyrs" even within a quote was unprofessional. (most Arab media employ the term in reference to Palestinians killed by the Israeli army). This is the same man who readily posts quotes by Israeli army spokespersons and Jewish leaders vilifying Palestinians as "terrorists, murderers and thugs."

Finding out that he had no case against me, Merryman resorted to red-herring tactics, accusing me of creating confusion and turmoil at aljazeera.net from the West Bank, from which I am barred from leaving by the Israeli occupation authorities. And after a brief email exchange, he told me I was fired.

I had written more than 300 pieces for aljazeera.net/English, probably more than anybody else, and never really encountered any problem with previous editors of aljazeera.net. Indeed, Merryman himself , when he started work with aljazeera.net in 2005, praised my professionalism and experience as a journalist.

I don't know for sure why Merryman behaved the way he did. It is quite possible that he had been urged or cajoled by some of his Zionist friends to make sure that "anti-Israeli" articles are rejected.

But I have my suspicions which I am sure will be vindicated one day.

It may be that he wanted to make AJI coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict a carbon copy of that of the BBC where he had spent several years as producer, presenter and news editor.

That would be a real disaster, indeed. It was due to the BBC's cumulative coverage of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, at least in part, that a majority of British youths came to think that Palestinians were "the settlers" and Jews were the victims of the "Palestinian settler violence," as was revealed in a British opinion poll a few years ago. Yes, of course, it is important to be neutral and impartial when covering international conflicts. But it is even more important to be honest when dealing with asymmetrical conflicts where one side is occupied and oppressed and the other is the occupier and oppressor.

Eventually, though somewhat belatedly, the Al-Jazeera administration became conscious, although I don't know to what extent, of the silent but real pro-Israeli lobby that was building-up quietly but steadily within AJI.

This build-up had two main expressions: neutralizing Palestinian correspondents from Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories and the intensive reliance on reports by the American News Agency, the Associated Press, viewed by many as Israel's ultimate news agency.

Needless to say, reports by this agency, whose Jerusalem offices are staffed by extremely pro-Israeli American Jewish zealots, never misses a chance to remind readers that Hamas was a terrorist organization and that Palestinian resistance fighters were actually terrorists. AP never ever remembers that timeless maxim that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter and that Israel itself is also viewed by hundreds of millions of people around the world as a terrorist state par excellence.

Seeking to rectify the situation before it is too late, Al-Jazeera's top managers appointed, Ibrahim Hilal, an able Egyptian journalist, to make sure that AJI didn't drift too much away from the policies of the mother Arabic channel.

Hilal, under instructions from Al-Jazeera General Manager, Waddah Khanfar, asked Merryman to reinstate me as correspondent in Palestine. Merryman complied but only begrudgingly.

On 18 July, Merryman sent me a terse and condescending message, demanding that I apologize to him - I don't know for what - and warning that my performance would be closely monitored. He said he would commission me to write some pieces, but that he and he alone would decide when and how. He actually never asked me to write a single piece, despite the numerous newsworthy events taking place in Palestine.

I did propose to him that I should prepare some feature stories on the situation in Gaza, the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah and how Israel was barring Palestinians from accessing food and work.

He wouldn't even reply to these messages.

Last week, Merryman decided to change the entire rules governing the editorial policies of aljazeera.net/English. The new rules make sure that "undesirable stories," e.g. stories that expose Israeli brutality and racism against the Palestinians or those portraying Israel as a Nazi-like entity, wouldn't find their way to aljazeera.net.

Merryman has actually already put this policy into effect. For the past three or four months, not a single feature story about the Israeli persecution of Palestinians, which of late assumed nearly genocidal proportions, appeared on Al-Jazeera's English website. This is while the site abounds with all sorts of stories about outlandish subjects.

Merryman claims he has received a full authorization from Al-Jazeera General Director Waddah Khanfar granting him full authority to decide what is posted on Al-Jazeera's English website.

I have sought to communicate my concerns about this grave trend now permeating through AJI to Al-Jazeera's top officials, some of whom have openly voiced their frustration and exasperation in this regard.

One official intimated to me that "Merryman views with utter contempt the way the Arabic channel is run."

Another told me that "this man and his friends want to turn Al-Jazeera into another Fox News or even another Jerusalem Post." The latter is Israel's main right-wing English newspaper which many liberals consider a mouthpiece of Jewish settlers.

I am sure that this article will sign me off from Al-Jazeera. However, I am willing to sacrifice my own personal interest and lose the bulk of my income in the hope that al-Jazeera officials, particularly Chairman Hamad bin Thamer al-Thani and Managing Director Waddah Khanfar will open their eyes and make sure that al-Jazeera International doesn't become a new weapon in the hands of the enemies of Arabs and Muslims.

For God's sake, don't let them hijack Al-Jazeera under the disguise of journalistic ethics.



Khalid Amayreh is a professional journalist and political analyst from Dura, 10 km. south west of Hebron in the West Bank. His writings appear frequently in Al-Ahram Weekly and Al-Jazeera.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 6 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Yeah, they can't stand to not have power in media Critical Thinker Saturday, Sep. 16, 2006 at 1:51 PM
Maybe we should start contacting Al Jazeera How shameful Saturday, Sep. 16, 2006 at 2:03 PM
Dr MD Friday, Sep. 29, 2006 at 12:28 AM
you folks are a riot gehrig Friday, Sep. 29, 2006 at 6:42 AM
Gehrig misses the point -- deliberately, of course TW Friday, Sep. 29, 2006 at 2:08 PM
somethings happened to Al-Jazeera hex Friday, Sep. 29, 2006 at 2:20 PM

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy