A News Reporting Balancing Act With Al Jazeera taking the lead, Arabic-language news networks are shifting strategy due to increased competition and pressure from Arab governments unhappy with their political coverage.
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A News Reporting Balancing Act

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A News Reporting Balancing Act

A News Reporting Balancing Act

A News Reporting Balancing Act

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Al Jazeera, the satellite news network that reaches 40 million people in the Arab world, is the Middle East's most successful news network — but it's not without its critics. The network's graphic coverage of events in Iraq and elsewhere has repeatedly angered the U.S. government.

The news network, based in the small Persian Gulf nation of Qatar, has also drawn fire from nearly every government in the region, from Iran to Saudi Arabia. Now, nearly a decade since Al Jazeera broadcast its first news bulletin, the network is changing the way it covers news.

Preparing for a news broadcast at the Al Jazeera studios in Doha, Qatar. Eric Weiner, NPR hide caption

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Eric Weiner, NPR

In the first of a five-part series on the Arab media, NPR's Eric Weiner reports on the network's new code of ethics — promising, among other things, to "avoid the pitfalls of speculation and propaganda." The network is also facing competition from rival Al Arabiya, bankrolled by the government of Saudi Arabia.