The Qatar-based global public television broadcaster Al Jazeera has charted what is known as the Arab Spring – the uprisings that began in Tunisia and spread to Egypt and other parts of the Arab world. But the channel, which broadcasts in Arabic and English, also gave local academics an unparalleled platform to explain and analyse events in their own region.
“A lot of local voices, including academics, have been given prominence on Al Jazeera,” said Tony Burman, who was Managing Director of Al Jazeera English until last year and is now head of strategy for the Americas.
“We want to ensure that as issues are discussed, the views and perspectives of those who live in the developing world are heard. There are a lot of elements in our society that do not participate. Al Jazeera made an effort, for example, in Tunisia, to make sure these voices were heard despite the government, though it is not our mission to determine the outcome,” he told the the WorldViews conference on Higher Education and the Media in Toronto.
Later, speaking with University World News, Burman said: “As the only global broadcaster based in the developing South, Al Jazeera has a special place in many of these countries affected by the Arab Spring. Read more…