CIPR International goes inside Al Jazeera with Richard Gizbert
To most people, being called the ‘Barking Dog’ of the Middle East would not necessarily be taken as a badge of honour, especially when the person hurling such abuse in one’s direction at the time was none other than former Libyan Leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
But when you are the Doha-based TV station Al Jazeera and the insult is aimed at you because you are perceived and the catalyst for the uprisings that spread across the Arab World in 2011, a faint smile of satisfaction is to be expected.
The role of Al Jazeera in what is now more commonly known as ‘The Arab Spring’ was outlined by the Presenter of Al Jazeera’s ‘The Listening Post’, Richard Gizbert, at a recent presentation given to the Chartered Institute of Public Relations International.
In addition to explaining how Al Jazeera had effectively ‘plugged in’ to the role of the citizen journalist using social media to report on stories and incidents which previously would have gone unreported, Gizbert gave a wider overview of the problems faced by Al Jazeera as it sought to establish itself as a leading voice in global reportage. Everything from struggling to secure Satellite airtime to the basics such as getting anyone to lease them office space for fear of terrorist attacks presented Al Jazeera with numerous obstacles to overcome.
As Gizbert stated, the fact that they were able still establish themselves as the leading voice of democracy across the Arab World was testimony to the drive and fortitude to all those involved.