As the crisis unfolds in Egypt, Al Jazeera appears to be straining to appear neutral.
According to an article in Gulf News, 22 members of staff have resigned due to the Qatar-based network’s coverage. Anchor Karem Mahmoud reportedly said that those who resigned quit after “biased coverage” of the events in Egypt, and that the group had been ordered to favour the ousted Muslim Brotherhood other the newly formed, military-backed government.
In an interview with Cairo Scene, Mahmoud explained his rationale:
The coverage over the last few weeks was the tipping point – especially the airing of extreme speeches over the last few days, which have added to the crisis Egypt is seeing right now. There has been a strong insistence of airing unacceptable statements by some parties, as well giving much more space and air time to one group over another.
Daily News Egypt earlier reported that two anchors have resigned from the station, including 10 year veteran reporter Hegag Salama, who reportedly told a Cairo-based TV station that Al Jazeera had “become an enemy of Egypt.”
Al Jazeera has long been perceived as being close to the Muslim Brotherhood, and whether the accusations of bias are true or not, it appears to be severely hurting the network’s ability to report on the crisis in Egypt. At a military-organised news conference earlier today reporters from the network were kicked out, the Associated Press reports, while Reuters reports that some of the stations offices were raided by the military (though it remains on-air).
Al Jazeera English reporter Rawya Rageh reports that threatening leaflets have been placed near the network’s offices:
— Rawya Rageh (@RawyaRageh) July 8, 2013
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