Al Jazeera Media Network has expressed shock over the ‘calls being made by a number of US lawmakers to register Al Jazeera as a ‘foreign agent under the Foreign Agent Registration Act.’
“Al Jazeera views such calls as a direct attempt to curtail media freedom and restrict journalists from carrying out their duties, a right enshrined in the constitution of the US,” the network said in a statement. “This call comes at a time when attacks on journalists and media organisations around the world are at an all-time high,” Al Jazeera pointed out while recalling that it has provided multi-award winning news coverage and current affairs programmes for more than 21 years.
“Although the professionalism of Al Jazeera has been questioned in prior cases; in no case has any evidence been submitted or brought forward. More recently, Al Jazeera’s journalism has been vindicated in four landmark rulings issued by the UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom, following a complaint against its investigative programme The Lobby. “Since its establishment in 1996, Al Jazeera has continued to maintain its editorial independence from any governmental institutions, Qatari or otherwise, and it steers away from any political or ideological agenda. Our mission is to “inform and empower people with the accurate, in-depth content that upholds the values of truth and elevates the human spirit.”
“Speaking truth to power, as Al Jazeera does, is one of the roles of free media. This has resulted in harsh criticism from a number of the most oppressive and despotic regimes who want the media to portray only their side of the story – and have even called for the closure of the Al Jazeera Media Network.
“We are alarmed that some US lawmakers are aligned with such despotic regimes, rather than acting as gatekeepers for free speech and free media. We urge democratic forces all over the world, especially in the US, to stand with free media institutions to promote and protect the values of democracy, liberty, human rights, freedom of media and the right to free speech,” the network added.
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