131. Name: Tariq Al-Shammari Title: Al Jazeera Satellite Channel: A Propaganda Instrument of the Qatari Regime or an Oppositional Force in the Quest for Democracy? Institution: University of Winchester Country: United Kingdom Date: 2015 Language: English Abstract: This study explores three dimensions of the relationship between Al Jazeera channel and the Qatari state: the administrative, the financial and the editorial. It investigates 1) whether journalists of the channel are able to enjoy complete professional autonomy in their selection of news stories, 2) whether or not they have the freedom to discuss Qatari issues without editorial interference and 3) whether they can avoid revealing their news sources. The research findings show that Al Jazeera journalists do not enjoy complete professional autonomy. They cannot freely select or choose the news they want to deal with. They cannot discuss Qatari sensitive issues in the talk shows or other programmes and that they experience significant pressure to reveal their news sources. This lack of freedom is imposed under the editorial system of the organization. The findings also indicate that a strong regulatory and administrative framework compels the channel to comply with all governmental regulations that relate to the Amiri decree, which established the channel. The study argues that the editorial policy indirectly denies journalists opportunities to cover Qatari affairs, which might embarrass the government.
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