It's been a tough few months for Al Jazeera Media Network. It shuttered its U.S. on-air operation a couple of weeks back, and now Iraq is trying to kick the mothership Qatar-based international news net out of the country.
According to Al Jazeera, the Iraqi Communications and Media Commission has shuttered its Baghdad bureau, pulled its license to operate, and is trying to prevent its journalists from reporting from the country.
The CMC cited "violations of the official codes of conduct and broadcasting rules and regulations," said Al Jazeera, which countered that it was shocked by the charge, which it denied, and would not be bullied out of the country.
"Al Jazeera is committed to its editorial principles in the coverage of current affairs in Iraq. It abides by its code of ethics in its coverage and programming, and by the highest global standards of professionalism, and has been doing so since its launch," the network said in a statement.
The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Iraq to reverse the decision ASAP.
"Iraq is resorting to bureaucratic measures to censor Al-Jazeera, one of the region's leading broadcasters. It's that simple," said CPJ Middle East and North Africa program coordinator Sherif Mansour in a statement. "Iraqi authorities should immediately restore Al-Jazeera's license and allow all journalists to do their jobs without harassment."
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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