Making the News

Arabic-language news network Al-Jazeera has been a hotly contested entity since it first began broadcasting in 1996. Now reaching over 40 million viewers, this Qatar-based and government-funded broadcaster now rivals CNN and the BBC as one of the most influential television news outlets in the world. Due to the attacks of September 11 and the increasingly strained relations between the United States and the Arab world, Al-Jazeera’s status has come under scrutiny—more so in the United States than anywhere else. Famously derided by George W. Bush as “the mouthpiece of Osama bin Laden,” Al-Jazeera has come to be regarded as a distinctly partisan source for news coverage because of its critical treatment of both the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the occupation of Iraq.