Wednesday, January 30, 2008

'I have never worked anywhere where morale was so low'

Gee, the hopes were so high, yet now it's all coming unraveled.

Must be the after-effects of the neo-McCarthyite plot.

Apparently, only the Democrats take these people seriously.
Al-Jazeera's troubled English language news channel is facing a "serious staffing crisis" after scores of journalists left or have not had contracts renewed amid claims of a revolt over working conditions.

Staff at the Doha-based 24-hour news channel - which only reached its first birthday in November - have told of a series of issues including the removal of benefits and a lack of pay rises which have led many to resign or look to leave.

The staff unrest comes amid speculation that al-Jazeera English is set to relaunch in the second quarter of this year with new schedules and new studios in Gaza and Nairobi.

According to insiders, resignations have occurred across the board, including the director of human resources, the director of operations, producers, senior camera operators and editors.

One source said that the general belief among staff was that the English language rolling news service "cost so much to set up that they are now cutting costs at the expense of quality and quantity".

There are also renewed reports of tensions between al-Jazeera's Arabic language channel, which has been on air since 1996, and the more recently launched English outlet.

Sources have added that executives on the main Arabic al-Jazeera network are trying to exert more control over the English language outlet, which is mainly staffed by western journalists.

One source said the al-Jazeera editor-in-chief, Ibrahim Hilal, was pushing for the English channel to take a more Islamic slant, quoting the example of the recent furore surrounding British teacher Gillian Gibbons who was arrested in Sudan for allowing her class to name a teddy bear Muhammad.

"He [Hilal] sent an email banning the story from being run on al-Jazeera English because it would upset Muslims," the source added. "It was only covered when there were riots in Sudan."
Shocking, isn't it, that Jihad TV would want and Islamist slant?

Never saw that coming.
Al-Jazeera is also embroiled in two employment disputes, including one in London with the former al-Jazeera English head of planning, Jo Burgin, who is claiming sex, race and religious discrimination.

Sources have said that the Washington-based former financial controller Clive Brady is also taking legal action in the US after being dismissed.

Another source described the working environment at al-Jazeera English as "hateful".

"I have never worked anywhere where morale was so low," one former staff member said. "Some people have worked very hard to produce a channel but there is no recognition whatsoever."
These people pimp themselves out to a network that's an avowed enemy of the West and they're surprised they're treated like this?


We'll leave you with this laugher.
In a statement, he said: "Al-Jazeera's mission and vision has always been based on the values of human dignity, equality, and diversity.

"This applies not only to our coverage but also to our organisation. The commitment to diversity is the reason we have over 2,500 staff and journalists from over 40 different nationalities and from many different faiths working across all parts of the world.

"In a global organisation such as ours all employee grievances have a channel for resolution and we have an open door policy to resolve all issues.
H/T: Different Drummer via the LGF spinoffs.

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