Advertisement

The History of Al Jazeera

  • Haydar Badawi SadigEmail author
  • Catalina Petcu
Chapter
  • 175 Downloads
Part of the Contemporary Gulf Studies book series (CGS)

Abstract

Al Jazeera Arabic (AJA) established in 1996, repositioned Qatar as a major hub of news in the Arab Gulf region, the Middle East and the Islamic world. And, since the invasion of Afghanistan by the United States in 2001 and airing Osama bin Laden’s statements, Al Jazeera became a major player in world news and was dubbed as the CNN of the Arab world. In 2006, Al Jazeera English (AJE) was launched. However, it wasn’t until the January 2011 revolt in the Arab world that Al Jazeera English began attracting serious interest in the United States. With its coverage of uprisings in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, it became the principal source of information for Western officials, media organizations and audiences. AJE was the only English-language network outlet with nonstop live video of demonstrations in the Egyptian capital. Hence, major Western media outlets were forced by necessity to replay Al Jazeera coverage of events in Egypt. This affirms the widely held impression that the advent of the AJA (in 1996) and AJE (in 2006) offered a fresh, and very powerful hegemonic challenge to Western dominance of international news and information flows unmatched by any other network launched since. This chapter will tell the story of Al Jazeera’s 20 years of operation from a historic perspective that situates it within the history of the South-North debates on news flows. Of particular interest will be how Al Jazeera fits in the context of the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) debates (that led to the withdrawal of the United States and Britain from UNESCO in 1985). This will include a discussion of the extent to which the regional media landscape has changed following Al Jazeera.

Keywords

History Information flow South-North debate NWICO Arab media Challenge 

References

  1. Al Jazeera. (2013, May 22). Al Jazeera Arabic Tops Viewing Figures. Retrieved from https://www.aljazeera.com/pressoffice/2013/05/201352291421900835.html
  2. Al Kasim, F. (2005). The Opposite Direction: A Program Which Changed the Face of Arab Television. In M. Zayani (Ed.), The Al Jazeera Phenomenon. Critical Perspectives on New Arab Media (pp. 93–105). Boulder: Paradigm Publishers.Google Scholar
  3. Al-Jaber, K. (2004). The Credibility of Arab Broadcasting. The Case of Al Jazeera. Doha: Qatar National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage.Google Scholar
  4. Al-Khalil, M. (2016). Interview with the Authors. Doha.Google Scholar
  5. Al-Najjar, A. (2009). How Arab Is Al-Jazeera English? Comparative Study of Al-Jazeera Arabic and Al-Jazeera English News Channels. Global Media Journal, 8(14), 1. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.mylibrary.qu.edu.qa/docview/212995035?accountid=13370
  6. Amin, H. (2012). The Nature of the Channel’s Global Audience. In P. Seib (Ed.), Al Jazeera English. Global News in a Changing World (pp. 29–40). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  7. Aoun, S. (2003). Wag the Dog and the Dogs of War. Metro: Media & Education Magazine, 54–58. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.mylibrary.qu.edu.qa/docview/236487409?accountid=13370
  8. Arsenault, A. (2012). Covering and Reaching Africa. In P. Seib (Ed.), Al Jazeera English: Global News in a Changing World (pp. 79–96). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  9. Associated Press. (1985, December 5). Britain Following Lead of U.S., Will Withdraw from UNESCO. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com/1985-12-05/news/mn-371_1_unesco-membership
  10. Austin, P. (2010). Double Vision: Al Jazeera English at Odds with the American Media. Kennedy School Review, 10, 34–39. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.mylibrary.qu.edu.qa/docview/910300178?accountid=13370
  11. Ayish, M. (2001). The Changing Face of Arab Communications: Media Survival in the Information Age. In K. Hafez (Ed.), Mass Media, Politics, and Society in the Middle East (pp. 111–136). Creskill: Hampton Press.Google Scholar
  12. Bahry, L. Y. (2001). The New Arab Media Phenomenon: Qatar’s Al-Jazeera. Middle East Policy, 8(2), 88–99. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.mylibrary.qu.edu.qa/docview/203701985?accountid=13370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Barber, B. R. (1992). Jihad vs. McWorld. The Atlantic Monthly, 269(3), 53–65.Google Scholar
  14. Barkho, L. (2008). Strategies of Power in Multilingual Global Broadcasters. How the BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera Shape Their Middle East News Discourse. Jönköping: Jönköping University.Google Scholar
  15. Byrd, K., & Kawarabayashi, T. (2003). Proceedings of MIT’s Media in Transition 3, 2–3 May 2003: Al Jazeera: The Opinion and the Other Opinion – Sustaining a Free Press in the Middle East.Google Scholar
  16. Carlsson, U. (2005). From NWICO to Global Governance of the Information Society. In O. Hemer & T. Tufte (Eds.), Media and Glocal Change: Rethinking Communication for Development (pp. 193–214). Göteborg: Nordicom.Google Scholar
  17. Dupret, B., & Ferrié, J. (2012). « Miroir, Mon Beau Miroir ». Quand Trois Chaînes Satellitaires Arabes Se Donnent un Profil. Archiv Orientalni, 80(2), 337–338. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.mylibrary.qu.edu.qa/docview/1399290860?accountid=13370
  18. El Oifi, M. (2005). Influence Without Power: Al Jazeera and the Arab Public Sphere. In M. Zayani (Ed.), The Al Jazeera Phenomenon. Critical Perspectives on New Arab Media (pp. 66–79). Boulder: Paradigm Publishers.Google Scholar
  19. El-Nawawy, M., & Iskandar, A. (2002). Al Jazeera: How the Free Arab News Network Scooped the World and Changed the Middle East. Cambridge, MA: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  20. Fahmy, S., & Al-Emad, M. (2011). Al-Jazeera vs Al-Jazeera: A Comparison of the Network’s English and Arabic Online Coverage of the US/Al Qaeda Conflict. The International Communication Gazette, 73(3), 216–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fandy, M. (2007). (Un)civil War of Words: Media and Politics in Arab World. Westport: Praeger Security International.Google Scholar
  22. Figenschou, T. U. (2013). Al Jazeera and the Global Media Landscape. The South Is Talking Back. New York: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group.Google Scholar
  23. Galander, M. M. (2013). Al-Jazeera, Advocacy and Media Value Determinism; Re-conceptualizing the Network’s Coverage of the Arab Spring of Revolutions. Global Media Journal Spring, 12(22). Retrieved from http://www.globalmediajournal.com/open-access/aljazeera-advocacy-and-media-value-determinismreconceptualizing-the-networks-coverage-of-the-arab-spring-of-revolutions.php?aid=35901
  24. Ghareeb, E. (2000). New Media and the Information Revolution in the Arab World: An Assessment. Middle East Journal, 54(3), 395. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.mylibrary.qu.edu.qa/docview/1290765919?accountid=13370
  25. Hawak, B. (1992). Introduction: Metaphors of African Coverage. In B. G. Hawk (Ed.), Africa’s Media Image (pp. 3–14). New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  26. Kayser, J. (1953). One Week’s News: Comparative Study of 17 Major Dailies for a Seven-Day Period. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  27. Khanfar, W. (2017). Al-Jazeera Gave Arab Youth a Voice. Gulf Regimes Must Not Silence It. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/26/al-jazeera-arab-youth-voice-gulf-regimes-saudi-arabia
  28. Khatib, L. (2009). Satellite Television, the War on Terror and Political Conflict in the Arab World. In A. Ingram & K. Dodds (Eds.), Spaces of Security and Insecurity: Geographies of the War on Terror (pp. 205–220). Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing.Google Scholar
  29. Khatib, L. (2013). Qatar’s Foreign Policy: The Limits of Pragmatism. International Affairs, 89(2), 417–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Khouri, R. G. (2017, June 12). The Qatar-Gulf Rift Stems from Fear. Al Jazeera. Retrieved from http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/06/qatar-gulf-rift-stems-fear-170612063720874.html
  31. Kraidy, M. (2005). Reality Television and Politics in the Arab World: Preliminary Observations. Transnational Broadcasting Studies, 15. Retrieved from http://repository.upenn.edu/asc_papers/303
  32. Krichen, M. (2017). Interview with the Authors. Doha.Google Scholar
  33. Kugelman, M. (2012). Covering and Reaching South Asia. In P. Seib (Ed.), Al Jazeera English: Global News in a Changing World (pp. 97–119). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  34. Lahlali, M. (2011). Contemporary Arab Broadcast Media. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lynch, M. (2006). Voices of the New Arab Public: Iraq, Al-Jazeera, and Middle East Politics Today. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  36. MacBride, S., & Roach, C. (1993). The New International Information Order. In G. Gerner, H. Mowlana, & K. Nordenstreng (Eds.), The Global Media Debate: Its Rise, Fall and Renewal (pp. 3–12). Ablex Publishing Corporation.Google Scholar
  37. Masmoudi, M. (1979). The New World Information Order. Journal of Communication, 29(2), 172–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Miles, H. (2011, February 9). The Al Jazeera Effect. The Inside Story of Egypt’s TV Wars and How Saudi Arabia Could Be Next. Foreign Policy. Retrieved from http://foreignpolicy.com/2011/02/09/the-al-jazeera-effect-2/
  39. Najjar, O. (2007). New Trends in Global Broadcasting: “Nuestro Norte Es El Sur” (Our North Is the South). Global Media Journal, 6. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.mylibrary.qu.edu.qa/docview/2390897?accountid=13370
  40. Negm, S. (2017). Interview with the Authors. Doha.Google Scholar
  41. Nordenstreng, K. (1995). Media Scholar Between Science and Politics. In J. Lehtonen (Ed.), Critical Perspectives on Communication Research and Pedagogy (pp. 189–193). St. Ingbert: Röhrig Universitätsverlag.Google Scholar
  42. Ojo, T. (2002). Post-NWICO Debate: Image of Africa in the Western Media. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
  43. Paterson, C. (2011). The International Television News Agencies. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  44. Powers, S. (2009). The Geopolitics of the News: The Case of the Al Jazeera Network. Los Angeles: University of Southern California. Retrieved from http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p15799coll127/id/283824
  45. Powers, S. (2012). The Origins of Al Jazeera English. In P. Seib (Ed.), Al Jazeera English. Global News in a Changing World (pp. 5–28). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  46. Rantanen, T. (2005). The Media and Globalization. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  47. Riley, C. (2017, June 5). Will Qatar Sacrifice Al Jazeera to Mend Regional Ties? CNN Media. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/05/media/al-jazeera-qatar-saudi/index.html
  48. Rinnawi, K. (2006). Instant Nationalism. McArabism, Al-Jazeera and Transnational Media in the Arab World. Lanham/Toronto: University Press of America.Google Scholar
  49. Romero-Trillo, J., & Attia, S. (2016). Framing the Ideological Outcomes of the Tunisian Revolution Through the Eyes of Arab and Western Media. Lodz Papers in Pragmatics, 12(2), 177–213.  https://doi.org/10.1515/lpp-2016-0011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rotheray, B. (2010). Good News from a Far Country? Changes in International Broadcast News Supply in Africa and South Asia. Oxford: University of Oxford, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.Google Scholar
  51. Roy, P. (2014). New World Information and Communication Order: An Essential Remedy Towards the “Information Imbalances” for the Third World Nations. International Journal of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies (IJIMS), 1(6), 194–201.Google Scholar
  52. Rusch, R. D. (2004). Readers Pick Apple: 2004 Readers’ Choice Awards. Brandchannel. Retrieved from http://www.brandchannel.com/features_effect.asp?pf_id=248
  53. Sakr, N. (2001). Satellite Realms: Transnational Television, Globalization and the Middle East. London/New York: I.B. Tauris Publishers.Google Scholar
  54. Sakr, N. (2005). Women, Development and Al Jazeera: A Balance Sheet. In M. Zayani (Ed.), The Al Jazeera Phenomenon. Critical Perspectives on New Arab Media (pp. 127–150). Boulder: Paradigm Publishers.Google Scholar
  55. Sakr, N. (2006). Challenger or Lackey? The Politics of News on Al-Jazeera. In D. K. Thussu (Ed.), Media on the Move: Global Flow and Contra-Flow. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  56. Seib, P. (2004). The News Media and the “Clash of Civilizations”. Parameters, 34, 71–85.Google Scholar
  57. Seib, P. (2012). Al Jazeera English. Global News in a Changing World. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  58. Tawfiq, N. M., & Ghani, C. A. B. A. (2015). Using Functional Approach in Translating Arab Spring Topics: Al Jazeera and BBC Arabic as Study Cases. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 5(11), 2287–2294. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.mylibrary.qu.edu.qa/docview/1737513729?accountid=13370
  59. The Economist. (2017, July 1). Why Is Al Jazeera Under Threat. Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2017/07/01/whyal-jazeera-is-under-threat
  60. Topham, G. (2016, March 17). Al Jazeera to Lay Off 500 Staff Worldwide. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/mar/27/al-jazeera-lay-off-500-staff-worldwide-oil-price-slump
  61. UNESCO. (1985). International Flow of Information: A Global Report and Analysis, Reports and Papers on Mass Communication (Vol. 99). Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  62. Wu, H. D. (1998). Investigating the Determinants of International News Flow: A Meta-Analysis. International Communication Gazette, 60(6), 490–510.Google Scholar
  63. Zayani, M. (2005). Introduction – Al Jazeera and the Vicissitudes of the New Arab Mediascape. In M. Zayani (Ed.), The Al Jazeera Phenomenon. Critical Perspectives on New Arab Media (pp. 1–46). Boulder: Paradigm Publishers.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Qatar UniversityDohaQatar

Personalised recommendations