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!