Al Jazeera, is a state-funded broadcaster in Doha, Qatar, owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network. Al Jazeera has motto “The Opinion and The Other opinion”. The broadcaster says its goal is to “cover both sides of stories”. However the media group has faced numerous criticisms especially from the Arab States some of which have already taken action by shutting down operations (signals, websites, applications) of the medium in their territory including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, and Jordan. These nations believe Al Jazeera is working in the interest of the government of Qatar. Al Jazeera is mostly accused for “inciting violence” now Israel is joining or wants to join “the league” as Israel's communications minister, Ayoub Kara, accused Al Jazeera of supporting "terroristic journalism" and announced plans to close its Jerusalem bureau, halt its transmissions and revoke its press credentials. Now should this be done? Is this correct?
It’s more common for us to hear governments using terms like “National Security” and “National Calm” these days. This is associated a lot with the media and most times the media is accused of interrupting National Calm or threatening National Security. This is often as a result of criticisms faced by governments from the media. Gideon Levy, Columnist at Haaretz Newspaper in Israel says that everything is becoming legal in the name of security ranging up to killings and all unjust acts, Levy says Journalist are not concerned with security and don’t work for security he explained the Job of the Journalist is to report, criticize and share views.
While the ethics of journalism demands that journalist tell the truth and be factual even so they have an obligation and responsibility to be impartial and make sure all sides of a story are head as opposed to propagandist who hold only one opinion and stick to it despite its possible bias. The distinguishing feature between propagandist and journalists is that they don’t care or look at the other side of the story. Do you think Al Jazeera is responsible for propaganda?
Aidan White, Director of Ethical Journalism Network said that “incitement” is not enough reason to shutdown Al Jazeera, he explained there are several instances when we don’t agree with what the media is saying or when we think it should have been reported differently, but this is not the way to handle it he says. Dialogue is a possible better approach he cited, and described the situation as a “direct frontal attack and an action of press censorship”
Considering the claims laid from both sides, the surprising fact that Al Jazeera is state sponsored and their quest to be unbiased, judge for yourself if Al Jazeera should be closed down.