The Culture of Al Jazeera: Inside an Arab Media Giant
In the mid 1990s, the emir of Qatar conceived the idea of a satellite channel that would further the progressive image he hoped to establish for his small Arabian/Persian Gulf state. At the same time, a short-lived partnership between the BBC and a Saudi company had left a handful of BBC-trained Arab journalists and broadcasters up for grabs. That was the inception of Al Jazeera—a satellite channel which changed forever the face of Arab broadcasting with its uncensored news and bold talk show programs. The September 11 attacks on the United States and the war on terrorism vaulted Al Jazeera to international prominence but also turned it into a source of controversy. Despite the controversy—or perhaps in part because of it—in less than a decade the channel has transformed itself from an obscure regional news broadcaster to a multi-channel, multi-lingual, multi-service global enterprise.This book’s in-depth look at Al Jazeera examines whether its global success reflects particular organizational strengths. It explores whether Al Jazeera is merely a fad thriving on the thirst for free speech in the Middle East, or a new medium whose success will be sustained by its organizational culture and model. This work delves deep into the culture, workings and challenges of this powerful media organization to provide insights on its achievements, its future, and the true measure of its success
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