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Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera is on the ISIS Blacklist

aljazeera logo_304x200ISIS has issued new rules for journalists working in areas under their control, according to the site Syria Deeply. The 11 rules were established directly by ISIS for any journalists “who wish to continue working in the governorate.”

All of the rules are said to be non-negotiable. No. 4 stands out, as Al Jazeera is considered on the “blacklist.”

The rules issued by ISIS are as follows: Read more

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Al Jazeera America Countersuing Al Gore

Al-Jazeera-America304It looks like Al Jazeera America isn’t taking the lawsuit levied against them by former Vice President Al Gore lying down. They countersued Gore and Joel Hyatt back today.

The Associated Press reports the cable news network, which launched last year after buying Current TV from Gore, is suing over money being held in an escrow account.

The parties are fighting over money that is being held in escrow. Al Jazeera America says it is entitled to the money because Gore and Hyatt agreed to indemnify the network for claims made against Current TV, but didn’t live up to their promise. It accuses the pair of “misrepresentations” and says they received hundreds of millions of dollars from the sale.

Network Coverage Plans for President Obama’s ISIS Address

ObamaCNNIsisBroadcast and cable news networks will provide special coverage tomorrow night at 9pmET for President Obama’s speech on American action against ISIS.

Here is what the networks are planning:

  • CBS’ Bob Schieffer will anchor for the network with “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley reporting from Iraq, where it will be 4am. The CBS Sports special “Under the Lights” will be delayed.
  • Brian Williams anchors for NBC with Chuck Todd reporting from the DC Bureau, delaying “America’s Got Talent” in the eastern and central time zones.
  • ABC’s chief anchor George Stephanopoulos hosts, along with Jonathan Karl at the White House.
  • Shepard Smith will anchor a special report on FOX, interrupting the season premiere of “Hell’s Kitchen.”
  • On Fox News,  Megyn Kelly will anchor with Bret Baier appearing. “The O’Reilly Factor” will air at 8pmET and “Hannity” at 10pmET will be live, with a special live edition of “Special Report” airing at 11pmET.
  • On CNN, Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer will anchor.
  • John Seigenthaler will anchor a preview of the speech at 8:30pmET for Al Jazeera America as well as coverage of the actual speech. White House Correspondent Mike Viqueira will contribute from the White House.
  • Neil Cavuto will anchor  for Fox Business Network, followed by live editions of “Lou Dobbs Tonight” at 10pmET and “The Independents” at 11pmET.
  •  MSNBC will air a two-hour primetime special hosted by Rachel Maddow from 8pm-10pmET. Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, Andrea Mitchell and Reverend Al Sharpton will join Maddow. “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” will air at 10pmET followed by a live “All In with Chris Hayes” at 11pmET.
  • Bloomberg Politics’s Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will anchor Bloomberg TV’s special primetime coverage of the President’s speech starting at 9PM ET from Washington, DC. Bloomberg’s Al Hunt will contribute reporting and analysis.
  • CNBC will carry the address with hosts as yet unannounced

More Cuts at Al Jazeera America

Al-Jazeera-America304As the year-old network looks to cut costs, Al Jazeera America has parted ways with a correspondent and two executive producers, TVNewser has learned.

Last week, AJAM declined to renew the contract of Miami-based correspondent Natasha Ghoneim. A photographer in the bureau has also resigned. And today, we hear two executive producers were let go.

“We are going to replace the correspondent and camera person who are gone,” a spokesperson tells TVNewser about the Miami changes. “Like any business, we’re always looking at how to most effectively and efficiently deploy our resources and as such looking at costs is a regular exercise, but there aren’t any plans for ‘extreme’ cost-cutting.”

Regarding executive producer cuts, the spokesperson adds: “In an organization of over 800 employees, there may be weeks when a few people leave and weeks when a few people join. As a policy we don’t discuss personnel matters publicly.”

Following cuts in April, CEO Ehab Al Shihabi told staffers in July that more layoffs were possible.

On One-Year Anniversary, Al Jazeera America President Kate O’Brian Thanks Staff

Kate O'Brian 2014On Al Jazeera America’s one-year anniversary, network president Kate O’Brian wrote a memo to staff noting their success so far.

We came with a mission to cover the most important stories of the world in the way that Al Jazeera has been doing it around the globe for years—actively and with depth, with humanity and courage, and without opinion or punditry. And we came with the goal of bringing these compelling and important stories, from the US and from around the world, to the American audience. My friends, I believe we have succeeded.And so, ultimately, this anniversary is about you. Each one of you. Without your extraordinary work this past year we would not have been able to create what we have—a growing, thriving 24/7 news channel. This is just the beginning of a wonderful journey.

O’Brian stresses the network hasn’t reached all of its goals: “We have more work to do — but I know we have the drive and dedication to do it.”

Her full note after the jump.

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Al Jazeera Rejects Al Gore’s Lawsuit: ‘Lawyer-Driven Public Relations’

Al-Jazeera-America304Al Jazeera came out strongly today against former Vice President Al Gore‘s lawsuit against the network.

Reuters reports the network is rejecting Gore’s claims that they owe former Current TV shareholders millions of dollars in escrow funds.

Al Jazeera, which bought Current TV for about $500 million, said the Gore-Hyatt group had promised to indemnify Al Jazeera if, after the sale, the company was sued for breach of any contracts while Gore and Hyatt ran the channel. Third parties contend that Current TV had breached contracts while the group ran the channel, Al Jazeera America said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that assurances by Gore and Hyatt that Current TV’s contract compliance were “inaccurate.” “Rather than indemnifying Al Jazeera as they were required to do, Gore and Hyatt have resorted to a preemptive lawsuit and lawyer-driven public relations maneuvers,” Al Jazeera said. David Boies, the attorney representing Gore and Hyatt, said last week the group asked the court to order Al Jazeera America to “stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current’s former shareholders.” Al Jazeera countered that the money in the fund was intended to indemnify Al Jazeera. It also said indemnification claims were more than the amount held in escrow.

Today marks Al Jazeera America’s one-year anniversary.

Al Gore Suing Al Jazeera Over Current TV Sale

GoreBloomberg reports former Vice President Al Gore is suing Al Jazeera over the $500 million deal to purchase his former network Current TV in 2013.

“Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago,” David Boies, a lawyer for Gore, said in a statement today. “We are asking the court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current’s former shareholders.”

“Our outside counsel is reviewing the complaint,” an Al Jazeera spokesperson tells TVNewser. “We think it relates to a commercial dispute between former shareholders of Current Media and Al Jazeera America. We may have further comment once they’ve fully reviewed everything.”

Al Jazeera America marks its one-year anniversary this coming Wednesday.

Al Jazeera America Crew Says it was Fired Upon in Ferguson

AJAMCrewTearGas

A crew from Al Jazeera America was setting up for a live shot in Ferguson, MO, around 10:30 last night, when police tear gas canisters landed near them. The network also says police fired rubber bullets in their direction and continued to shoot after the crew “clearly and repeatedly shouted ‘press.’”

They were setting up for a live shot for the international channel covering the latest in the violence surrounding the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

“Al Jazeera America is stunned by this egregious assault on freedom of the press that was clearly intended to have a chilling effect on our ability to cover this important story,” AJAM spokesperson Jocelyn Austin says. “Thankfully all three crew members are physically fine.”

The network wants the incident investigated.

JournalistsFergusonTwo other reporters covering the chaos were arrested last night. Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery says he was slammed into a soda machine, handcuffed and arrested. He was released later on the order of Ferguson’s police chief. The Huffington Post’s Ryan J. Reilly says an officer arresting him slammed his head against the glass at a restaurant near the site of the Brown shooting.

“RTDNA condemns the physical violence and unjustified arrest of the journalists, and demands authorities respect the rights of reporters covering the unfolding situation in Missouri,” RTDNA Executive Director Mike Cavender wrote to the city’s police chief this morning. After the jump, Cavender’s letter, which also went to the governor and the attorneys general of Missouri and the U.S…

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Al Jazeera America CEO on Channel’s First Anniversary: ‘We Have Accomplished A Lot’

ehab al shihabiIn a note to Al Jazeera America staff this afternoon about the channel’s upcoming one-year anniversary, CEO Ehab Al Shihabi said staffers “have accomplished a lot” over the past 12 months. “I am proud to say that both our internal culture and our reporting reflect the diversity of today’s world,” Al Shihabi wrote. “…Now, after one year, we must continue our work.”

Every day, we must deliver on our brand promise – providing accurate, in-depth, unbiased news stories that aren’t covered elsewhere, and that respect the diversity of today’s world. Aljazeera is known internationally for captivating content that reveals the human impact of today’s top news events, and we will evolve in order to meet those expectations and grow our audience.

I know there has been a lot of talk about ratings. Let’s put things in perspective. Other cable news networks have been on television for decades — we’re a year old. We’re still growing our brand awareness as well as our distribution, which is a little more than half of all U.S. cable homes.

But ratings only tell part of the story about Aljazeera America.  Read more

Al Jazeera America Takes Victory Lap for Israel-Gaza Coverage

AJAMAdAl Jazeera America has produced a new :30 second promotional spot about the network’s continuing coverage in Gaza, which has given the network a ratings boost recently. The promo begins airing today and will run all week on competing news networks including CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.

The spot will run on 18 different networks in New York and New Jersey markets served by Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS, but not Comcast which owns NBC/MSNBC.

Watch it after the jump…

Read more

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