Entries in Al-Jazeera TV (3)


China Kicks Out Foreign Journalist

George Doyle/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- China has kicked out an accredited foreign journalist for the first time since 1998.

Observers fear that the decision to expel Melissa Chan of the Al Jazeera English-language television network is an indication that China is cracking down on foreign media in an attempt to control coverage going forward, particularly during a year of government transition that has already seen two major stories erupt.  Chan’s expulsion was not related to either story.

Coverage of the Bo Xilai scandal, which involved a top politician, corruption and allegations of murder, has been stymied. So has public discourse on any potentially sensitive topic. 

Online censorship is rampant. China ranks 174th out of 179 countries (just ahead of Iran and Syria) on press freedom, according the Reporters Without Borders.  But longtime China hands also say the situation has improved in China, at least for foreign journalists, and that periods such as these are all part of the job of reporting in China.

Melissa Chan, a U.S. citizen, covered China for five years as the Beijing-based correspondent for Qatar-based Al Jazeera.  She reported extensively on sensitive topics, including the imprisonment of petitioners from the countryside in unofficial “black jails” and the annual anniversary of the June 4, 1989, massacre of democracy protestors.

In a Twitter feed posted Tuesday from the United States, Chan wrote, ‘Yes my press credentials have been revoked and I will no longer report f/China.’

She is expected to begin a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University in California in the fall.

The director of Al Jazeera has defended Chan and the network, saying in a statement, “We constantly cover the voice of the voiceless and something that calls for tough news coverage from anywhere in the world.  We hope China appreciates the integrity of our news coverage and our journalism.”

Repeated attempts by Chan to renew her journalist visa were denied by the Chinese government until she could no longer legally remain in the country.

Al Jazeera said in a statement that China was not granting permission to replace Chan, forcing the network to close its English-language service’s bureau.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Egypt Protests: Al-Jazeera Journalists Arrested, Network Says

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(CAIRO) -- The Egyptian military arrested and later released six journalists from the Arabic television network Al-Jazeera, the network said Monday.

Clayton Swisher, head of Al-Jazeera's Transparency Unit, told ABC News that the journalists were arrested and that newsgathering equipment was also confiscated. Though the journalists were released about 90 minutes later, the equipment was not returned.

The arrests occurred without any violence, the network told ABC News.

Before news of the journalists' release emerged, U.S. State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley tweeted, "We are concerned by the shutdown of Al-Jazeera in Egypt and arrest of its correspondents. Egypt must be open and the reporters released."

The arrests came after Al-Jazeera reported the Egyptian government shut off the channel's signal from an Egyptian satellite. Then, the station denounced the move as an attempt to "stifle and repress" open reporting in Egypt.

Last week the government systematically shut down nearly all of the country's internet and cell phone access.

Monday marks the seventh day since protesters in Egypt gathered in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo to demand the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US: Palestinian Leaks Cause Difficulty; Deal Still 'Possible'

File Photo: Construction of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem caused peace talks to stop between Palestinian and Israeli leaders. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LONDON) -- Al-Jazeera TV began releasing confidential documents Sunday that reportedly show major Palestinian concessions to Israel.  The documents consisting of communication between Palestinian, Israeli and U.S. leaders cover the years 2000-2010, according to BBC News.

The U.S. State Department maintains that the leaked documents may cause some difficulty in the peace process, but making a deal is "both possible and necessary."

Recent peace talks were suspended after Israel refused to halt the construction of Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the leaks will likely make the the the situation "more difficult than it already was," but said that the U.S. has spoken to all the parties involved and that the objective remains the same.

"We continue to believe that a framework agreement is both possible and necessary, so we continue to work and engage the parties as we've done throughout the process," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio