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These media sources have a slight to moderate liberal bias. They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes) to favor liberal causes. These sources are generally trustworthy for information, but may require further investigation. See all Left-Center sources.
- Overall, we rate Al Jazeera Left-Center biased, based on story selection that slightly favors the left and Mixed for factual reporting due to failed fact checks that were not corrected and misleading extreme editorial bias that favors Qatar.
Factual Reporting: MIXED
World Press Freedom Rank: Qatar 125/180
Founded in 1996, Al Jazeera is an international news network which is owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation. It is headquartered in Doha, Qatar. You can view their history timeline here and see Al Jazeera America’s leadership here. Dr. Mostefa Souag is currently Acting Director-General of the Al Jazeera Media Network.
Funded by / Ownership
Al Jazeera is owned and funded by the state of Qatar. The founder and Chairman of the Board is Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani, who is a member of Qatar’s ruling family, the House of Thani. According to a Fortune article, in 2016, state-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera laid off 500 workers due to Qatar’s financial troubles as a result of low global prices for oil and natural gas. Al Jazeera generates revenue through advertising.
Analysis / Bias
In review, Al Jazeera reports news with minimally loaded wording in their headlines and articles such as this: UN approves team to monitor ceasefire in Yemen’s port city and Erdogan delays Syria operation, welcomes US troop withdrawal. Both of these articles are properly sourced to credible news agencies. When reporting USA news there is again minimal bias in reporting such as this: Pentagon chief Mattis quits, cites policy differences with Trump. In general, straight news reporting has minimal bias, however as a state-funded news agency, Al Jazeera is typically not critical of Qatar.
Al Jazeera also has an opinion page that exhibits significant bias against Israel. In this article, the author uses highly negative emotional words as evidenced by this quote: “Europe is increasingly sharing Israel’s racist approach to border security and adopting its deadly technologies.” This article, however, is properly sourced to credible media outlets. Another article “How many more ways can Israel sentence Palestinians to death?” also uses loaded language that is negative toward Israel. Further, the opinion page does not have a favorable opinion of US President Donald Trump through this article: ‘Barbed wire-plus‘: Borders know no love. In general, opinion pieces are routinely biased against Israel and right-wing ideologies.
In 2017, Al Jazeera aired an investigative report of Britain’s Israel lobby and following the airing, Ofcom (UK government-approved regulatory and competition authority) received complaints from a number of pro-Israeli British activists, that included one former Israeli embassy employee. They were accused of anti-Semitism, bias, unfair editing and infringement of privacy, which was later cleared by Ofcom, who said the piece was not anti-semitic and was in fact, investigative journalism. Later, a US version of the documentary called “Lobby” was not aired, due to pressure from US Legislators pushing for Al Jazeera to register as a foreign entity, and therefore labeling its journalists as ‘spies’. Further, Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations demanded Qatar to shut down Al-Jazeera. Al Jazeera rebuts the accusations here.
A factual search reveals Al Jazeera has failed a few fact checks.
- FAKE ALERT: Photo of refugees moving from Amritsar to Lahore – FALSE
- No, murder rate for women in South Africa hasn’t spiked by 117% – FALSE
Overall, we rate Al Jazeera Left-Center biased, based on story selection that slightly favors the left and Mixed for factual reporting due to failed fact checks that were not corrected and misleading extreme editorial bias that favors Qatar. (5/15/2016) Updated (M. Huitsing 08/14/2019)