“The new station, called al-Jazeera International, will launch early in 2006. Based in Washington, London, Qatar’s Doha and Kuala Lumpur, it will broadcast discussion shows and features as well as news broadcasts. The station, which will be in English, will focus on the developing world, and Africa and Asia in particular.
“Al-Jazeera is the subject of unprecedented global controversy. The station has broadcast messages from Osama bin Laden, showed images of the carnage in the aftermath of US and UK attacks and footage of hostages being executed.”
Western governments and apologists have reason to be worried. Bombing schools in Gaza or killing hundreds in Fallujah will no longer be hidden by complicit “embedded” Western editors and journalists.
Greater scrutiny is the sign of a healthy democracy. And we know how much Western governments – and dictatorships alike – love freedom of the press.