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Friday, June 18, 2021

GQ goes “inside” Al Jazeera

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“If other networks are interested in the politician, Al Jazeera will always be interested in the politician’s driver.”

That, in a nutshell, is GQ magazine’s take on the Qatar-based news network, which is the subject of a seven-page article titled, “Inside Al Jazeera.”

The report tells the story of the network through the narrative of one of its most prominent reporters, Ayman Mohyeldin, as he covers revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.

Here’s an excerpt of Qatar’s description in the piece:

In spite of the army of cockeyed cranes hovering over a spate of construction projects across the city—a building boom fueled by the $50 billion in oil and natural-gas income that flows to the country annually—Doha’s lasting impression is one of mall-shopping and shisha clouds pillowing over café patios as men in thobes (white robes), pants, and ghutras (head scarves) take their satisfaction from gurgling water pipes.

If Doha makes a somewhat sleepy home for a network that broadcasts to 250 million homes in 120 countries—and one that now aggressively competes against the big global news-gathering operations—the broadcast center outwardly betrays nothing of the frisson that goes into making news, either.

The Al Jazeera compound floats squat and pale behind high fences near what’s called the Television Roundabout, in a part of town as featureless as Doha’s pale desert hold…When the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak visited here back in the salad days, he famously said, “All this noise from such a small matchbox?”

Read the full article here (if you dare).

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