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Al Jazeera

Dave Marash On His ‘Inspiring’ New Job

Marash“The possibilities are inspiring,” says veteran newsman Dave Marash in describing his new job as co-news director of Sante Fe’s public radio station.

An official announcement named Marash, and former print journalist Zélie Pollon, as KSFR-FM’s new leadership team.

“My wife Amy and I moved to New Mexico in October of 2012,” Marash tells TVNewser, “and with all the legendary zeal of the convert, I love it out here.

“My friend Zelie interviewed me [for a KSFR program], and, afterwards, George Weston, the station’s general manager, asked me about possibly working at the station.  It turned out the news directorship was open.  Zelie and I talked about taking the job together as a job-share and convinced ourselves, and eventually, George and others, that this might work to everyone’s advantage.”

Marash says he also hopes to anchor a weekly interview news show.  In addition, he’s excited to turn the newsroom into a “workshop” by approaching ”all the local colleges and high schools about possible interns, who will trade their time and energy for training in reporting, radio writing and audio editing.”

A sixteen-year veteran of ABC’s Nightline, Marash made headlines in 2008 when he exited Al Jazeera English after expressing to management his disappointment in a lack of editorial input from its American staff.

Just this last week, American journalist Liz Wahl - citing editorial bias at Russian network RT – resigned her anchor job, albeit in a public, on-air announcement.

Imprisoned Al Jazeera Journalists Trial Adjourned Until March 24

The three Al Jazeera journalists imprisoned in Egypt since the end of last year have had their trial adjourned until March 24.

“We are again disappointed that Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste, and Baher Mohamed were not released from prison today,” Managing Director of Al Jazeera Engligh Al Anstey said. “The trial in Egypt is a trial of journalism itself, so we remain resolute in calling for freedom of speech, for the right for people to know, and for the immediate release of all of Al Jazeera’s journalists in detention in Egypt”.

This twitter picture sent out by Al Jazeera shows the journalists caged during their trial.

Last week, rallies were held in more than 30 cities to show support for the imprisoned journalists and call for their release.

On Al Jazeera’s Global Day of Action, Bob Simon Recalls His Time in Iraqi Prison

CBS News correspondent Bob Simon, who was captured and held for 40 days by Iraqi forces in the opening days of the Gulf War, has added his voice to those of journalists around the world calling for Egypt to release three Al Jazeera journalists.

In an interview with Al Jazeera America’s John Seigenthaler, Simon called the jailed  journalists “hostages,” saying he wouldn’t call them prisoners “because a prisoner will have charges against him and these guys haven’t really been charged with anything credible.”

“When you’re kidnapped and held in horrible conditions, as they have been, it’s indescribable,” Simon said. “The only people you can talk to are other people who have been in that condition because it just changes everything about your mentality and your life.”

Al Jazeera Launches Global Day of Action to Free Staffers Jailed in Egypt

al jazeera global day of actionRallies are planned in more than 30 cities today as part of Al Jazeera’s Global Day of Action in solidarity with Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste, and Baher Mohamed, its journalists jailed in Egypt.

Al Jazeera America is collecting images from demonstrations around the world and posting them to a live blog. Heather Allan, the head of newsgathering for the network, is also participating in a Reddit Ask Me Anything Q+A about the #FreeAJStaff campaign today.

“Today we invite every believer of free journalism to show solidarity and support for journalists who have been detained, mistreated or stifled in Egypt and elsewhere,” Al Jazeera America interim CEO Ehab Al Shihabi wrote in a note to AJAM staff this morning.

Many media outlets around the world have joined the cause: last week, an international group of television executives called for the journalists’ release. The protests are also getting coverage on other networks: on “CBS This Morning” today, correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reported from London, where protestors in Trafalgar Square released black balloons into the sky as part of the demonstration.

“We are grateful for the support we have been receiving from across the world, from within the journalism profession, and from NGOs, politicians and members of the public,” Shihabi wrote. “The message that these detentions are unjustified is loud and clear.”

Al Jazeera Calls For Global Day of Action in Support of Jailed Journalists

al jazeera jailed journalistsAl Jazeera is calling for a global day of action next week in support of its journalists jailed in Egypt. The trial of Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste, and Baher Mohamed has been adjourned until March 5 after they pleaded not guilty to all charges against them. In a statement, Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey says the network is “deeply disappointed” the journalists were not released:

The charges against our staff are baseless, unacceptable, and wholly unjustified.  What is going in in in Egypt right now is a trial of journalism itself, so it is critical that we remain resolute in calling for freedom of speech, for the right for people to know, and for the immediate release of all of Al Jazeera’s journalists in detention in Egypt.

We truly appreciate the solidarity from journalists and individuals right around the world. The pressure has continued to build since they were taken into custody. We must keep this up, so we ask everyone to contribute to the Global Day of Action on Thursday 27th February. Journalism is not a crime.

The Global Day of Action comes after an international group of news organizations, including NBC, ABC and the BBC, called for the release of the journalists.

Al Jazeera America Plans Documentaries to ‘Spark Conversation and Draw Attention’

al-jazeera-america-carousel-largeAl Jazeera America has commissioned a series of documentaries “in an effort to raise its profile among news aficionados while stoking demand for the fledgling cable-news outlet,” Variety’s Brian Steinberg reports:

Finding ways to stand out is paramount for Al Jazeera America, which has ambitious plans and more than adequate funding, but needs to bolster the number of homes it reaches. In December, the network began airing on Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, a move that brings it into nearly 55 million homes. Al Jazeera launched August 20.

“When you are a new channel among hundreds in the cable world, you want to be gaining traction. You want people to come and sample you,” said High. “Yes, we hope this will basically spark conversation and draw attention.”

International Group of News Organizations Calls For Release of Al Jazeera Journalists

peter gresteAn international group of high-profile news executives — including NBC News president Deborah Turness, ABC News managing editor of international news Jon Williams and BBC director of news James Harding — have penned an open letter calling for the release of Peter Greste and other Al Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt.

The group, which also includes BBC deputy director of news Fran Unsworth, ITN chief executive John Hardie, Reuters global editor John Pullman and Sky head of news John Ryley, writes “the Egyptian authorities are profoundly mistaken in their actions”:

Whatever the local conditions, a fundamental principle of any country should be freedom of speech – the existence of critical voices that can test the mettle of a system. As history shows, that’s vital. So we think Egypt’s move is deeply damaging to the future of impartial journalism in the country and that its actions are unjust, and unacceptable.

A hard-working, honourable journalist, with a track record of achievement, has been put in jail, awaiting trial, for honestly practising his trade. So we would like to add our voices to those that have called for his release, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Peter Greste and his colleagues should be set free so that they can continue with the kind of impartial, balanced reporting he has so eloquently defended from his prison cell.

Soledad O’Brien’s Mornings Rarely Include Watching TV News

SO HS 304Former morning show anchor Soledad O’Brien says morning TV isn’t part of her morning routine these days.

With nationwide speaking engagements, contributing to CNN and Al Jazeera America,  running her own production company — and being the mother of four — O’Brien doesn’t have the time these days. And today she adds a new partnership with Google. O’Brien tells our sister site Lost Remote, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Al Jazeera America President’s #FreeAJStaff Plea

As we’ve been reporting, the calls to free the three imprisoned Al Jazeera journalists are getting louder, and with news this morning that their detainment could last as long as two years,  Al Jazeera America president Kate O’Brian took to Twitter to show her  support.

In an end of 2013 message to staff, O’Brian highlighted keeping the journalists in mind.

And, as we reflect at year’s end, let us all keep our colleagues Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed, and Mohamed Fawzy in our thoughts. Their incarceration highlights the importance, and the inherent dangers, of the fearless journalism we espouse.

Christiane Amanpour Holds Up #FreeAJStaff Sign On-Air

AmanpourOn her CNN International show, Christiane Amanpour held up a sign of the hashtag #FreeAJStaff in a report on what fellow journalists around the world are doing to show support for the four imprisoned Al Jazeera reporters.

Amanpour reported on journalists who are taping their mouths shut and holding up the signs in calls for the release of the four journalists who’ve been held captive in Egypt for over a month.

The journalists solidarity campaign on social media comes at the same time journalists in Kenya protested outside of the Egyptian embassy there, with some holding signs “Journalism is Not a Crime.”

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