Segments in this Video

March 17, 2003: al-Jazeera Headquarters, Doha, Qatar (04:54)


Arabic news network al-Jazeera ("The Island"), gears up to cover imminent war in Iraq. The first uncensored TV network in the Arab world, al-Jazeera boasts worldwide reporters and a regular audience of 45 million.

March 20, 2003: War Coverage Begins on al-Jazeera (03:02)

Broadcast of air raid sirens, mark the beginning of the U.S. aerial bombardment of Iraq. From the moment the bombing begins, Staff from 15 Arab nations, including Iraq, watches the bombing on TV monitors.

March 22, 2003: Images of "Shock and Awe" Campaign (02:51)

Images and media briefings at the Coalition's Central Command are limited, "a waste of time," according to one reporter. al-Jazeera's Camera Crew captures the war's first images of civilian casualties--and anger--in Basra, as well as images of Islamic extremists killed in the Kurdish region north of Iraq. (graphic images)

March 23, 2003: Competition Among Arab TV Networks (03:07)

In the middle of air raid on Iraq's capitol, al-Jazeera reports live from Baghdad, while rival stations pick up live footage and broadcast it as their own.

Pentagon Reacts to Reported Rumors of Fallen Plane (01:46)

In the newsroom, live pictures from Baghdad fan rumors of a missing plane. With CNN expelled from Iraq two days earlier, there are now only one or two western TV reporters in Baghdad.

First Images of American Casualties and Prisoners of War (06:05)

al-Jazeera shows evidence of the first American casualties and video footage of interrogations with the first American prisoners of war. Other stations want to broadcast al-Jazeera's live feed and some take it without permission.

March 24, 2003: Reaction to the POW Broadcast (03:31)

The controversial tape of the American prisoners of war makes al-Jazeerah into headline news, accused of irresponsible conduct and loses business reporting from New York. Computer hackers sabotage the al-Jazeera website.

March 25, 2003: Contradictory Uprising Reports (03:59)

The coalition announces a popular uprising against Saddam Hussein in the city of Basra, however, al-Jazeera's journalists in Basra contradict such reports, showing a pro-Saddam rally. Bombing takes priority in news coverage.

March 27, 2003: Upsetting Images of Death (03:56)

The release of tapes showing dead British soldiers angers Prime Minister Blair. The al-Jazeera network defends the act as responsible reporting and concludes that the agreements of the Geneva Conventions apply to nations, not media.

April 2, 2003: al-Jazeera Stands Up to Iraqi Ministry of Information (05:17)

Reporters reconsider taking dangerous reporting assignments in Baghdad. Angered by reports that the Americans are making progress, the Iraqi government demands the removal of two al-Jazeera reporters.

April 8, 2003: Baghdad News Offices Hit by Bombs (05:16)

American bombs strike the al-Jazeera office in Baghdad, killing one of the network's correspondents, Tarek Ayyoub. Despite three deaths, coalition forces deny intentionally targeting news journalists.

Richard Haass's Commentary on Democracy in the Middle East (08:22)

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses issues of democracy in the Middle East, free media, independent news networks, and U.S. government involvement in creating diplomacy in the Middle East.

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Exclusive to al-Jazeera: Media and Democracy in the Middle East



This Wide Angle documentary goes behind the scenes at al-Jazeera’s broadcast headquarters in Qatar during its nonstop coverage of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The program highlights the Arab-language network’s differences from its Western counterparts, yet also illustrates striking similarities between al-Jazeera’s media sensibilities and those familiar to most Americans. The flow of world events is dramatically conveyed through the emotional rhythms of the newsroom: tension as network executives defend the broadcast of U.S. prisoners of war; fear and apprehension as a translator juggles Rumsfeld voice-overs with calls home to Iraq; and shock and grief following the death of the network’s Baghdad correspondent, killed by U.S. artillery fire. This Wide Angle episode also features a discussion of Middle East democracy between anchor Jamie Rubin and Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and former Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department. (57 minutes)

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: This title is currently not available.

Copyright date: ©2003

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

2004 CINE Golden Eagle Award

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