30 de octubre de 2010

Al Jazeera again closed down in Morocco

Always making enemies. Although it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Is what comes to the mind of many journalists, like me, who are regulars (even devoted) on the superb coverage of Al Jazeera. It was demonized for having spread images of the group Al Qaeda sending their challenges and direct messages to the nations involved in the invasion of Afghanistan. Egypt is heavily criticized on Al Jazeera for its rigid stance toward Mubarak's government. Now, once again, the Moroccan government closes down its headquarter in Rabat feeling uncomfortable with the publications signed by Al Jazeera about Maghreb fundamentalist terrorist groups issues, or because Al Jazeera wishes to cover the protests of the Saharawi people. Today I heard on the radio that the only way protests can be covered it's skipping police search points, disguising as a Saharawi, and Al Jazeera had many chances to get it.

As far as Al Jazeera is concerned, it has always maintained "an editorial policy that focuses on providing alternative views" However, for the Moroccan Ministry of Information there is sufficient reason for its closure: the channel has deviated from the standards of journalism and have not adhered to what-the Moroccan government-called accuracy, objectivity and respect for the rules of the profession in the kingdom. The government has also suspended work permits as a journalist to two of its correspondents: Anas Ibn Saleh and Mohamed Bakkali.

If a country that claims to support freedom and democracy falls in such behaviour, it is clear that Reporters Without Frontiers is right on its new ranking of press freedom: "The decline in Morocco (8 points less) reflects the tension of the authorities - we begin to see since 2009- on issues related to press freedom"

Moral: They closed Al Jazeera for doing its job, without subtlety.

Noticia en Periodistas-es.org (En español)

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