Media Disinformation: Mass Resignations at Al Jazeera over “biased” Egypt coverage
Reports suggest that 22 member of staff have resigned from the Egyptian arm of Al Jazeera after complaining of pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias within the organisation
Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, the Egyptian arm of the Qatari-funded broadcaster has suffered major embarrassment today after 22 staff members walked out over accusations of bias.
The 22 staff resigned on Monday over what they alleged was coverage that was out of sync with real events in Egypt, according to a report by the Gulf News website.
Anchor Karem Mahmoud announced that the staff resigned in protest against “biased coverage” of the recent events in Egypt. He explained that there was a lack of commitment and Al Jazeera professionalism in media coverage, stating, “the management in Doha provokes sedition among the Egyptian people and has an agenda against Egypt and other Arab countries.”
Mahmoud added that the management used to instruct each staff member to favour the Muslim Brotherhood.
He said that “there are instructions to us to telecast certain news”.
In February of this year, Ghaffar Hussain, contributing editor to The Commentator wrote, “Since the Muslim Brotherhood has come to power in Egypt, Al Jazeera has done all in its power to portray the group in a favourable light. Protests against the Brotherhood-dominated regime are presented as being led by violent thugs with no political grievances, while Morsi’s poorly constructed and shallow speeches are given positive coverage.”
Haggag Salama, a correspondent of the network in Luxor, had resigned on Sunday accusing it of “airing lies and misleading viewers”. He announced his resignation in a phone-in interview with Dream 2 channel.
Meanwhile, four Egyptian members of editorial staff at Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha resigned in protest against what they termed a “biased editorial policy” pertaining to the events in Egypt, Ala’a Al Aioti, a news producer, told Gulf News by phone.
Original reporting by Ayman Sharif for Gulf News
Copyright Gulf News, 2013