In light of US criticism that Al-Jazeera network is biased in its coverage against the United States by aiding the terrorist cause and the fact that most of the accusations of bias continue to be based on the claim that Arab media such as Al-Jazeera Arabic include the language of terror organizations, while its English-language counterpart, Al-Jazeera English,is being cleansed by changes and omissions, research sought to investigate whetherthese claims could be validated. Examining online coverage of the US/Al Qaeda conflict inthe Arabic-language Al-Jazeera website, these claims were measured against online coverage of the conflict in the English-language Al-Jazeera website. By content analyzing prominence of news stories (frequency and placement), use of sources and tone of coverage, the research demonstrates a significant difference regarding the placement of news stories between the English and Arabic-language Al-Jazeera websites, but nofurther differences were found. The overwhelming majority of attributed sources werefrom the United States and its allies. Furthermore, results revealed Al-Jazeera websites did not shy away from negative coverage regarding all those involved in the conflict. By and large in a highly competitive media environment, our findings suggest that in reporting the US/Al Qaeda conflict Al-Jazeera websites did not provide different perspectives of the war to Arabic- and English-language online users.
Source: Shahira Fahmy, School of Journalism, Department of Near Eastern Studies, College of Social and BehavioralSciences, The University of Arizona, firstname.lastname@example.org