USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

Dahr Jamail: Freedom Fight Against ‘Freedom Champions’

Posted by uscsjp on April 4, 2007

DOHA, Apr 2 (IPS) – The al-Jazeera television network could be emerging as a freedom champion against U.S. pressures on the channel, leading media figures say.

“I support al-Jazeera because al-Jazeera has done more to propagate democracy in the Middle East region than anybody else, certainly more than the American government has done,” media specialist Hugh Miles told IPS. “It’s strange to me that people refer to al-Jazeera as a ‘terrorist network’ because that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Miles spoke to IPS at the third annual al-Jazeera forum at Doha in Qatar Mar. 31 to Apr. 2. The forum highlighted the successful recent expansion of the network while also addressing difficulties that reporters face in the Middle East hot spots…

On Aug. 7, 2004, the U.S.-backed Iraqi interim government led by former CIA asset Iyad Allawi shut down the Iraq office of al-Jazeera, claiming that it was presenting a negative image of Iraq, and charging the network with “fueling anti-coalition hostilities.”

Much of the difficulties governments have had with al-Jazeera have arisen because it gets stories other channels do not have.

That makes it similar to the Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency, said IPS director-general Mario Lubetkin. Al-Jazeera has much in common with IPS because the Arab network “goes for the news behind the news,” and “because they cover the south,” he said. (full link)

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