Electronic Intifada reports: Days after a top Al Jazeera executive ordered the removal of an op-ed critical of Zionism by Joseph Massad, the article was today restored to the network’s English-language website.
Imad Musa, the head of Al Jazeera English Online, also posted a statement on the Editor’s Blog denying that Al Jazeera had “succumbed to various pressures, and censored its own pages” when it removed the article.
The about-face follows a growing uproar inside and outside Al Jazeera over the article’s removal, amid fears for editorial independence and freedom of speech as the Qatar-based network prepares to launch Al Jazeera America.
Musa’s statement claims that “After publication, many questions arose about the article’s content. In addition, the article was deemed to be similar in argument to Massad’s previous column, ‘Zionism, anti-Semitism and colonialism,’ published on these pages in December.”
However, Musa acknowledges that “We should have handled this better, and we have learned lessons that will enable us to maintain the highest standards of journalistic integrity.”
Massad, who has written for the Al Jazeera English website for two years, welcomed the restoration of his article, but expressed disappointment in Al Jazeera’s statement in a response sent to The Electronic Intifada: [Continue reading…]