What really annoys me about this New York Times story is that it’s assuming that since Aljazeera is refusing to broadcast footage of children being killed at close range, that somehow means that the station is changing its editorial policy:
The decision [not to air the footage], made at the very top of the sprawling international network, provided an opportunity for Al Jazeera to display its journalistic restraint at a time of management upheaval and accusations of a double standard in its coverage of uprisings in the Middle East. Experts said Mr. Merah’s video offered a possible hint of the broadcaster’s future editorial direction.
This is rubbish. Aljazeera has angered the Americans in the past because it broadcasted Bin Laden’s propaganda and videos of American hostages, videos that have editorial value despite being unsavory to uncle Sam. But I can’t think of any instant in which Aljazeera actually broadcasted a murder scene, let alone one involving children. To somehow suggest that this latest “restraint” is out of character is deeply disingenuous. I mean, listen to the kind of video we’re talking about:
it showed the seven killings with music, religious chants and the reading of Koranic verses in the background. “You hear the gunshots and the cries of the victims,”
Did Aljazeera ever broadcast something like this? I accept that the station is at a political inflection point, but the premise of this article is completely unfounded.