Why the CRTC must bring Al Jazeera to Canada

In late 1996, in a tiny peninsular emirate on the Persian Gulf with a total surface area barely larger than Toronto and Montreal combined, an experiment began. At the invitation of Qatar’s head of state, a small group of former BBC Arabic journalists relocated to the capital, Doha. They had been left jobless when their London-based employer’s Arabic station folded (due to an editorial scuffle with its Saudi funders), and they needed work. This group of journalists became the nucleus and precursor of what was to become the most ambitious and costliest single broadcast project in history—the Al Jazeera television network.

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