Al Jazeera English to be honored with Columbia Journalism Award
May 4, 2011
Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism will bestow its highest honor, the Columbia Journalism Award, to Al Jazeera English. The award is given annually during the school’s commencement ceremony to recognize an individual or organization for “singular journalism in the public interest.”
I am worried about them. The Libyan authorities are crazy and can do whatever they want. They promised that they would set him free, but now I cannot get hold of him.
Al Jazeera journalist Sammir Shatara on the re-arrest of Norwegian photographer and journalist Ammar Al-Hamdan and three colleagues.
Al-Hamdan was orginally captured on March 7, released, and then arrested again over the weekend.
Ramona Tancau, The Foreigner, Norwegian Al-Jazeera journalist recaptured.
The live feed from Egypt is riveting. We can’t get enough of revolution video — even if, some nights, Middle West blizzards take precedence over Middle East battles on the networks’ evening news. But more often than not we have little or no context for what we’re watching. That’s the legacy of years of self-censored, superficial, provincial and at times Islamophobic coverage of the Arab world in a large swath of American news media. Even now we’re more likely to hear speculation about how many cents per gallon the day’s events might cost at the pump than to get an intimate look at the demonstrators’ lives…
…That we often don’t know as much about the people in these countries as we do about their Tweets is a testament to the cutbacks in foreign coverage at many news organizations — and perhaps also to our own desire to escape a war zone that has for so long sapped American energy, resources and patience. We see the Middle East on television only when it flares up and then generally in medium or long shot.
Staring down governments that want to monopolize information in the Arab world, however, is hardly new to Al Jazeera. At this moment, though, I question whether this is exactly what has also happened to Al Jazeera English in America. There, too, we are almost completely shut out.
That’s quite concerning, as the U.S. media market rests on sturdy democratic principles, namely the First Amendment and the freedom of expression. But ever since Al Jazeera’s English channel first sought to broadcast in the States, roadblocks have marked every turn.