How do you solve a problem like al-Jazeera?

By Najah al-Otaibi

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The idea of a TV channel being forced to close by the collective weight of Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries seems abhorrent to any liberal supporter of a free media at first sight. But is there any merit in the accusations and demands of the GCC.

Al-Jazeera – the first apparently non-obsequious Arab news channel – has much to be praised on the surface. Most observers acknowledge the station in its Arabic and English versions is a tool of Qatar to launch itself as a powerful international player. But there a more sinister, less liberal, side to this so-called beacon of press freedom.

Let’s look at some facts. The Qatari Government-owned TV station prides itself as being a champion and promoter of human rights in a region more known for a slavish adherence and non-questioning of human rights violations.

Read more at al-Arabiya.


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