22 employees of Qatar-based Al Jazeera have resigned claiming a prejudicial position in regards to the Egyptian conflict.
The resignation was the result of what they referred to as ‘biased reporting.’ The former staff members said that reports issued by Al Jazeera were both ‘biased and inaccurate.’
Anchor Karem Mahmoud claimed that the reasons for his, and his staff’s, resignations were related to management in Qatar who were favoring Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
“The management in Doha provokes sedition among the Egyptian people and has an agenda against Egypt and other Arab countries,” Mahmoud said in his on-air statement.
Four Egyptian members of the editorial staff at Doha resigned as well.
Haggag Salama, a correspondent Luxor, resigned in protest, claiming management was “airing lies and misleading viewers.”
Mahmoud is a veteran journalist, formerly with BBC World News. He joined to Egyptian branch of Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, in 2011. Mahmoud joined the publication to be able to report on his homeland. He says in the last several weeks, the network has become politically biased, “which undermines everything we’re taught as reporters and broadcasters, and is not in line with what I believe to be right.”
Mahmoud says that the biased reporting has increased tensions in Egypt.
“The coverage over the last few weeks was the tipping point – especially the airing of extreme speeches over the last few days, which have added to the crisis Egypt is seeing right now,” Mahmoud said.
An official with the station told Agence France-Presse, AFP, that the employees who resigned “had not adapted to the editorial line of Al-Jazeera, which refuses to bow to pressure and which continues its coverage with professionalism, regardless of who is in power.”
Al Jazeera has long been admired for its accurate and un-biased reporting. If 22 employees have resigned over this particular issue, can Al Jazeera continue to be trusted?
Alfred James reporting