Watchdog criticizes Al-Jazeera English for lack of ‘basic standards of accuracy and accountability’

NewsGuard has urged readers to “proceed with extreme caution” when disseminating any output of the channel Al-Jazeera English. (AFP)
Updated 01 February 2019

Watchdog criticizes Al-Jazeera English for lack of ‘basic standards of accuracy and accountability’

  • NewsGuard is a firm assessing credibility of news sources around the globe and produces a “fake news report”
  • Its website blacklists Al-Jazeera for not revealing “who is in charge including any possible conflict of interest”

LONDON: Qatari-owned news channel Al-Jazeera English has been slammed by news watchdog NewsGuard for failing to “maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability.”

NewsGuard has urged readers to “proceed with extreme caution” when disseminating any output of the channel, because it intentionally misrepresents the interests of the government of the Qatar, which finances and owns the website.

According to NewsGuard — a firm which assesses the credibility of news sources around the globe and produces a “fake news report” — Al-Jazeera English has failed to comply with a number of press standards.

The NewsGuard report said the fact Al-Jazeera English is a privately-owned subsidiary of the Al-Jazeera network circumvented rules of transparency of disclosure of sources of financing in accordance with international law.

On its website, NewsGuard lists the Al-Jazeera channel as not “gathering or presenting information responsibly” nor “handling the difference between news and opinion responsibly.”

Its website blacklists Al-Jazeera for not revealing “who is in charge including any possible conflict of interest,” or its “content creators, along with either contact or biographical information.”

Jeffrey Semino, a media analyst who edited a Washington-based Free Beacon investigation from a Guardian report, said: “NewsGuard believes that Al-Jazeera English’s claims that it is accurate cannot in any way balance its violations of the most basic principles of credibility due to its deliberate campaigns of defamation and propaganda in the context of news coverage about Qatar and its neighbors.”

The news comes after a Jan. 4 tweet from Al-Jazeera US’ Twitter channel which read: “Dear audience, we regret to inform you that this account will be closed at the end of January. We thank you for your loyalty and invite you to continue following our brave, in-depth and diverse coverage of the world on @AJEnglish & @AJPlus.”


TWITTER POLL: UK decision to exclude Arab nations from COVID-19 quarantine ‘unjust’

Updated 07 July 2020

TWITTER POLL: UK decision to exclude Arab nations from COVID-19 quarantine ‘unjust’

  • Saudi Arabia's infection rate is similar to UK, Egypt is even lower
  • Poll reveals Arab News readers believe quarantine rule is unjust

DUBAI: The UK government’s decision to not include people traveling from any Arab nations in its waiving of the coronavirus quarantine requirements is unjust according to an Arab News Twitter poll.

The recent announcement that it was lifting quarantine requirements for people arriving in England from 59 different countries failed to include any Arab nations, despite many having significantly lower COVID-19-related fatality rates and similar proportions of infections.

Of the 1,039 people who took part in the poll, 56 percent said they did not believe that the United Kingdom’s decision was justified, while 27.3 percent said they did.

According to ourworldindata.org more than 15 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases lead to a fatality in the UK, while in the UAE that number was significantly lower at 0.62 percent, and in Saudi Arabia 0.91 percent.

People traveling from the countries not included in the list of 59 will still be required to self-quarantine on arrival into the UK for two weeks.

The UK currently has an infection rate of approximately 0.42 percent of its total population, while in France the rate is at 0.25 percent and Germany a slightly lower 0.23 percent – both the latter countries are included in the exemption list.

 

But Saudi Arabia’s infection rate is currently at 0.61 percent of its total population, Egypt is at 0.075 percent and Tunisia even lower at 0.01 percent – and yet none of these countries are included.

The UAE which has a significantly lower population  of less than 10 million, has an infection rate of 2.88 percent.

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