Posted by Tony from 18-pool1.ras11.calan-e.alerondial.net (188.8.131.52) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 at 7:56PM :
In Reply to: Al-Jazeera defends images,won't censor war horror posted by Tony from 18-pool1.ras11.calan-e.alerondial.net (184.108.40.206) on Sunday, March 30, 2003 at 7:08PM :
Spam keeps Al-Jazeera's site down
Posted Fri, 28 Mar 2003
Waves of spam kept Al-Jazeera's website down for a third day on Thursday, and officials at the maverick satellite channel said it was coming from US emailers apparently angry over its coverage of the Iraq war.
The Qatar-based network, which has broadcast graphic footage of dead US and British soldiers, also said it would now have to delay the introduction of an English-language site for several weeks due to the barrage of spam, or junk electronic mail.
"English.aljazeera.net will not be launched until early April, mid-April or the end of April, we do not know when it will be launched yet," online editor-in-chief Abdel Aziz Al-Mahmud told AFP.
The Arabic-language site has been down since Tuesday, and he said the junk mail had been pouring into the servers of the site, which is immensely popular in the Middle East.
The channel said it hoped to have the Arabic site back up soon.
The attacks began after the network broadcast footage of several US soldiers killed in Iraq, some of whom had apparently been shot in the head, as well as interviews with five US prisoners of war.
Officials say the satellite channel's viewing figures have jumped 10 percent since the war began last week.
The network has eight teams of reporters on the ground in Iraq and is the only channel to have been broadcasting from the southern city of Basra, scene of a furious battle between Iraqi and besieging US-led coalition forces.
The channel first gained major Western attention by broadcasting statements from Osama bin Laden after al-Qaeda organisation's September 11 attacks in the United States.
The government of Qatar is a part owner of the network, which was launched in 1996, and its coverage has sometimes affected relations between Qatar and other Arab countries, notably Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
: 30 Mar 2003 10:34:31 GMT
: Al-Jazeera defends images,won't censor war horror
: By Jim Wolf
: DOHA, Qatar, March 30 (Reuters) - Blasted by Washington and London for beaming distressing pictures from Iraq, al-Jazeera television said on Sunday it would not censor the horrors of war.
: "I think the audience has the right to see all aspects of the battle," said Jihad Ballout, spokesman for the Qatar-based Jazeera, seen by many as being a major influence in shaping Arab opinion over the U.S.-led war.
: The 24-hour, Arabic-language, broadcaster deliberated carefully before beaming pictures that could be especially troublesome to viewers, he said, and denied any political bias.
: "We're not catering for any specific side, or any specific idelology. What we are doing is our business as professionally as possible," Ballout added.
: Images of bombed Baghdad buildings, bloodied and screaming Iraqi children and slain or captured U.S. and British troops seen by millions of viewers anger Washington and London which seek to portray the war as one to liberate Iraqis.
: "If there's a perceived imbalance, it's purely a function of access," said Ballout
: He said if the Americans and British gave the station more access to their troops, who invaded Iraq 11 days ago "you would certainly find as much coverage on the ground from there as you would find from the Iraqi side."
: The station says it has at least 35 million viewers in the Arab world. In Europe, Ballout said, its subscriber figures doubled to eight million homes in the first week of the war. These came mainly in countries with large Muslim populations such as Britain and France.
: The Pentagon initially offered Jazeera several opportunities to travel with U.S. combat units but only one of these "embed" offers worked out, he said.
: The others fell through because of visa headaches from Bahrain, a base for allied warships, and Kuwait, launchpad for many journalists covering U.S. and British ground forces.
: With many ordinary Arabs protesting angrily at the U.S.-led war to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, authorities in some Arab states also object to Jazeera's conflict coverage.
: The station has also drawn U.S. ire for its cover in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, its broadcast messages from al Qaed leader Osama bin Laden and, more recently, for showing video footage of Iraqi interrogation of U.S. prisoners of war.
: "NEGATIVE LIGHT"
: "They tend to portray our efforts in a negative light," U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said in an interview with National Public Radio broadcast last Wednesday.
: The same day, Powell appeared on Jazeera, as have other Bush administration officials to get their messages to Arab viewers.
: Britain's military commander in the Gulf, Air Marshal Brian Burridge even suggested the station might have become a tool of Iraqi propaganda and violated the Geneva Conventions. The 1949 protocols bind states, not media organisations.
: Burridge slammed Jazeera for showing "shocking, close-up" pictures of two British troops later said by Prime Minister Tony Blair to have been executed by Iraqis.
: "Quite apart from the obvious distress that such pictures cause friends and families of the personnel concerned, such disgraceful behaviour is a flagrant breach of the Geneva Convention," Burridge told a briefing at U.S. Central Commnd's forward headquarters in Qatar last Thursday.
: But Ballout, a 45-year-old former London-based journalist of Lebanese descent, dismisses such criticism as hypocritical and self-serving. He said other 24-hour news channels like the BBC and CNN had also used footage of Iraqi POWs, hands bounds and heads bowed, that could have upset viewers.
: "We have covered similar incidents, similar conflicts, in Serbia, in Bosnia, in the (Israeli-) occupied territories and in Afghanistan, and nobody said a thing," he said.
: "It just strikes me a little bit funny that all the outcrying is taking place" now.
: : Please be advise these pictures are horrifying and hair raising.
: : http://www.allied-media.com/aljazeera/VICS.htm
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