CRTC approves Al-Jazeera application

11.26.09

The CRTC has approved a broadcasting license for English Al-Jazeera in Canada:

I first blogged about this back in 2003, when media monitoring organisations were sounding the alarm about the virulent antisemitic content being broadcast on Qatar-based Al-Jazeera’s Arabic-language station on a daily basis, under the guise of news. The English affiliate doesn’t have quite the same level of bias – certainly, not that much worse than we see regularly from, say, the CBC or the Guardian, or on the other side, from the likes of FOX news. If there’s a demand for the service, and the content doesn’t cross the line, then I have to stand in support of freedom of information.

Besides, this is 2009. Anyone who wants content can get it, regardless of the CRTC’s decision. This decision is really only about whether satellite providers can charge for it, or whether people will have to access it online or through other methods.

I still haven’t forgiven the CRTC for all those years without HBO, though. Segacs to CRTC: this ain’t over, bitch!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mario Parise 11.26.09 at 4:57 PM

That may be one of the best political slogans ever: “This ain’t over, bitch!”

I’m actually all for allowing Al-Jazeera to broadcast, simply because I actually like hearing news from every vantage point. Like you, I don’t believe anyone is ever truly objective so it strikes me that hearing every angle, no matter how biased, is an overall positive.

That said, the years without HBO were crushing weren’t they?

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Samer Salameh 11.27.09 at 12:09 PM

I think Al Jazeera is one of the few stations who put the real news out there. The level of bias is subjective, since it always depends on who the news is about and whether it is in their favor or not. Still, freedom of information is the best thing to happen since one can see both sides of the story.And to your point about access to content, since the internet, I hardly watch any TV, let alone news. I always read both pro and against to get the real picture. You can never know the real story if you only listen to stations that are pro one's own side.

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