2011-01-23 Al Jazeera's Transparency Unit goes online with Palestinian Papers

Al Jazeera launches Transparency Unit:

Launched in January 2011, the Al Jazeera Transparency Unit (AJTU) aims to mobilize its audience - both in the Arab world and further afield - to submit all forms of content (documents, photos, audio & video clips, as well as “story tips”) for editorial review and, if merited, online broadcast and transmission on our English and Arabic-language broadcasts. ...

From human rights to poverty to official corruption, AJTU will fairly evaluate and pursue all leads and content submitted, without geographical, political, cultural, or religious bias.

Search the Palestine Papers on AJTU

Too late! Nice try.


Anybody can use the same technology that WikiLeaks uses to receive information securely and anonymously from sources. The means have been available to the general public for years. WikiLeaks has been using it for years... and, so far, their track record in protecting their sources is 100% (Late breaking, US government can't find a link between Assange and Bradley, so I stand by that).

Note to the general media:

Al Jazeera? You're a late comer. Same to you New York Times. You can hire some 'cyber sleuths' (but you really don't need to, anyone can learn to use those tools), set up your little 'unit' and wait for the stories to come in.

WikiLeaks also has a pretty good reputation for actually publishing the material that folks risk their job and even lives to obtain. You might be able to 'walk the walk', but can you 'talk the talk'?

Two things stand in your way. Your editors, being editors, have their limits. The other thing is that the masses have long ago lost faith in the 'general media' and they know about the editor thing too. If you say no to too many stories then word will spread... fast! Folks will turn back to WikiLeaks and it's spahn, not you.

Like the first two laws of thermodynamics, you can't win and you can't break even.

So save yourselves the time, money and effort and don't even try. Don't even worry ... because others have been picking up the slack.


Yes, but do they pay for content?

So what if Al Jazeera's reaching out to the masses for content? Big media in my country (Canada) has been doing that for a few years and used the "recession" as justification to lay off hundreds, if not thousands, of journalists and photographers. Their thinking is they can make up for lost quality content with free stuff by forming groups on sites like Flickr with rules indicating that if you add photos to the pool they will forever belong to the newspaper or other media outlet who can sell said content to anyone it wishes at a profit. The creator of the work gets nothing out of the deal, of course, except exposure IF they decide to provide credit which they rarely do.

You have much bigger problems than you are aware of!

The difference is that Al Jazeera says, "From human rights to poverty to official corruption, AJTU will fairly evaluate and pursue all leads and content submitted, without geographical, political, cultural, or religious bias.", indicating they are working to expose contentious information that may not be flattering to the Government or Big Business.

The request by the Press in Canada is for fluffy filler, just try and get something truly unflattering to the Canadian Government printed.

This article ( http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/712978--canada-slips-in-press... ) says, "Canada fell to 19th place this year from 13th last year on Reporters Without Borders' index of freedom of the press. The analysis includes print, broadcast and online journalism in 175 countries."

And an article in the Globe and Mail ( http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/majority-who-cares/... ) says, "He [Harper] has the media, which he looked on with disdain on taking office, now licking from his soup bowl – so much so that he’s actually beginning to like the media... Government agencies, tribunals and watchdogs have been put under Mr. Harper’s thumb through dismissals, intimidation tactics and the appointment of lapdogs. And despite his minority, the Prime Minister has been able to impede the access-to-information system – one of the most important tools of democracy – to the extent that studies now rank Canada as an international laggard in freedom of information."

You have much bigger problems than you are aware of!

No media outlet is unbiased ...

... and every time I read that a media outlet somewhere will provide unbiased reportage I cringe the way I do whenever I hear a false promise that by its very nature cannot be kept. Everyone, even Al Jazeera, is biased to a greater or lesser extent. Even the notion that they will provide unbiased work implies a bias of supposed neutrality but neutrality ends at the editors desk when s/he decides which stories are published and which are not. Reading about a media outlet state their intention to released unbiased reporting is like listening to a politician make promises during a campaign. The raw data that WikiLeaks has been releasing is as close as a publisher can come to unbiased reporting but there is still bias built into that material and into what information is deemed suitable for release at what time versus what is not.

I am as disappointed in big Canadian media as anyone. My comment had nothing to do with its failures, though I don't dismiss them in it. My comment was about whether Al Jazeera will pay for content which hasn't happened here and, as far as we know, won't happen there either, and that they really aren't going to be doing anything different than big Canadian media in this regard. If you want to rip the Canadian media, may I suggest writing an article for Al Jazeera rather than making an irrelevant (to my comment) statement to get your own bias out there.

Exactly, GregB. And Canadian

Exactly, GregB. And Canadian media is actually much better now than it was when the media was ruled by prime minister Mulroney and his bff Lord Conrad Black. But it has always been awful. It would be nice if some of those laid off journalists and photographers created a news organization worthy of Canada, or all of the independent media somehow reached a bigger audience.


At last a mainstream media outlet is taking up the challenge of truly being the Fourth Estate.

I hope the world's captive puppetmedia is paying attention.

WikiLeaks only exists because of a failure of the old media, once the old media starts doing its job, WikiLeaks will no longer be required - or will itself have to morph into a full-function media outlet.

Hurray Al Jazeera! Just be sure you use the WikiLeaks model to protect your sources!!

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer