al jazeera

Egypt’s government has arrested four journalists working for Al Jazeera English in Cairo. Police took Peter Greste, a correspondent from Australia, Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, who has Canadian and Egyptian citizenship, and producer Baher Mohamed and cameraman Mohamed Fawzy, both Egyptian, into custody on Sunday. Egyptian police accused the men of “broadcasting news that threatens internal security and spreading false news.”

A top international law firm that was ordered by the Qatari government to conduct an "independent review" into allegations of modern-day slavery at World Cup construction sites is also a paid lobbyist for an arm of Qatar's Al Jazeera television network, The Telegraph can disclose. DLA Piper has received more than $300,000 (£186,000) in lobbying fees this year from Al Jazeera America according to official filings in the US, raising questions over whether it could conduct an unbiased assessment into allegations that have cast a pall over preparations for the 2022 World Cup.

Egyptian authorities have freed a four-member team of Al Jazeera journalists after holding them in detention for five days without charge. Correspondent Wayne Hay, cameraman Adil Bradlow and producers Russ Finn and Mohammed Baher were freed on Sunday afternoon. They were arrested on Tuesday while covering events in Cairo. Three other Al Jazeera journalists are still being held in Egypt: Shihab Elddin Shaarawi, an executive producer with Al Jazeera Mubasher, was arrested on Friday morning.

Two new television deals mean that New Zealand viewers are for the first time able to watch global news channel Al Jazeera English. From today, on SKY channel 090, Al Jazeera’s offering of news, documentaries and programmes from over seventy bureaus worldwide will be beamed into nearly half of New Zealand homes reaching around two million people. And from 1st November, Al Jazeera will be on Freeview HD channel 16, broadcasting live and free to air.

Egypt's interim government called an Al-Jazeera local affiliate that broadcasts in Arabic a national threat Thursday, moving closer to banning its broadcasts beamed from Qatar after the affiliate aired recordings of declarations by fugitive leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Qatar-based television network said four journalists working for its English service were arrested in Cairo.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar fell out because they supported conflicting interests primarily in Egypt. Elsewhere too - Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Gaza (Hamas). But their coming together in any case was for limited tactical reasons: to stall the Arab Spring. The big asset the Qataris brought to the union, hurriedly put together, was the incomparable credibility of their TV channel, Al Jazeera. Qatar launched Al Jazeera, initially only in Arabic. Later, superior retirees from the BBC like Sir David Frost were enlisted to launch its English service.

Al Jazeera now runs three television channels, including the newly-launched Al Jazeera America. The station is based in Qatar. But the kind of journalism Al Jazeera does is still a pipe-dream in that country. Northwestern University in Qatar journalism student Yara Darwish said of her countrymen, including her parents, “they actually have no clue of what journalism is. The culture in Qatar hasn’t allowed them to accept the idea of journalism. We are not a society that shares everything, that shares the news; we are a very private society.

Foreign journalists are under attack in Egypt - they are accused of bias and of ignoring facts, and many of them have been detained, attacked and some even killed. Egypt's State Information Service released a statement to journalists on Saturday, detailing what it sees as media bias. "Media coverage has steered away from objectivity and neutrality" which has led to "a distorted image that is very far from the facts," the statement said.