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by on December 2, 2013


Al- Jazeera English is an Arab CNN television that covers international 24-hour English-language news; its headquarters is located in Doha-Qatar. Al-Jazeera English was also based in the Unites States of America (USA) in the English language and in its original Arabic language in the Middle East.  Al-Jazeera claims to be the first global high-definition television network that covers a variety of programs such as news features, analysis, documentaries, business, sports, live debates, current affairs and technology. It seeks to provide information both in Arabic and in English, at a regional level and at a global perspective for a potential audience of more than a billion viewers who have no access to Anglo-American coverage.  When the TV station was launched, it operated from Washington DC, London, Doha and Kuala Lumpur.

The Arab CNN has an enormous coverage and has gained popularity for its close-up reports, especially for showing real images of the events. for example, the Palestinian intifada, the war in Iraq, broadcasting exclusive footage of Osama Bin Laden, and so on.


Al-Jazeera’s main goal is to get the information right from the source and transmit it to the audience directly from the seeing.  The unprecedented coverage of Al-Jazeera in the Arab world ranges from pictures, moving images as the video in which a child was killed by an Israeli soldier in his father’s arms in Palestine, the assassination of Muammar Gaddafi in the Libyan’s conflict, to interviews to controversial individuals such as the Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasr Allah.  These reports and interviews has given Al-Jazeera English prestige and popularity not just in the Arab region, but around the world.

Al-Jazeera’s role in the region is significant because more viewers can watch the news on a 24 hour basis. Its popularity and impact has pressured many state governments to review its control over TV stations and update output in order to compete. Several Arab governments have been forced to reduce their media control and allow a wider coverage to most TV stations.

Some analysts believe that  Al-Jazeera is responsible for giving the opportunity to those who have never been given a chance to express themselves. It has become the window that many can shout out and through that make their voices be heard, it has become the voice of the voiceless.  It’s been said that Al-Jazeera is responsible for educating ordinary Arabs and for rising awareness and political knowledge of the Arab people around the world. However, its coverage has made it unpopular to Western and Arab governments. The station’s programs have been censured, its offices have been forced to close down or being attacked by some Arab states. Al-Jazeera was banned from reporting conflicts such as the Iraqi war in 2004 and its bureau was forced to shut down. It’s offices have never been allowed to open again.

The USA government strongly criticised Al-Jazeera’s broadcasts in relation to Osama Bin Laden’s messages and the coverage on Iraq’s war.  American officials attempted to bomb Al-Jazeera’s headquarters in Qatar in 2004 after bombing its bureau in Kabul. Donald Rumsfeld accused the channel of a lack of balance and of attacking the image of the US “day after day after day”, while the late leader of al-Qaeda also accused Al- Jazeera of being the “mouthpiece of the Americans.”

In response to all critics, Mr Sheikh said “People say we are the channel of the insurgents. It’s not true. We are the channel of everybody. We are critical and balanced.”

While some politicians demonise Al-Jazeera, some diplomats prefer instead to engage with the channel. Their hope is to persuade at least some of the 40 million viewers to hear a different point of view and make up their own minds.



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