Inside Story

What is behind the campaign against Al Jazeera?

Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries imposing a blockade on Qatar are demanding the closure of the Doha-based network.

Qatar has called the 13 demands issued by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their allies, in exchange for the lifting of a regional blockade, “unreasonable”, “unbalanced” and “not actionable”

The list of demands includes the closing down of Al Jazeera English network.

It is often said that journalists should avoid becoming part of the story. But the story of this regional crisis is now putting journalism at the centre of it.

Al Jazeera says the ultimatum – which must be met within 10 days – would not affect daily business.

Fellow journalists and industry representatives are voicing their angry reactions. They see it as an attempt to silence freedom of expression and using the news organisation as a bargaining chip in political differences.

Presenter: Hazem Sika


Marwan Kabalan – Associate analyst at the Doha Institute, Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies

Philippe Leruth – President of the International Federation of Journalists

Rami Khouri – Professor of journalism, American University of Beirut