../Morning Post
Posted November 26, 2009

CRTC approves Al-Jazeera's application to broadcast

Toronto - Yesterday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced that it has approved Al-Jazeera English's (AJE) application to broadcast in Canada. AJE - a 7x24 all news channel which is already broadcast in dozens of other countries, including the US - had made its application in February, and the Canadian public was asked to provide input in May and June. "The commission notes the substantial support for the addition of AJE to the digital lists and considers that AJE will expand the diversity of editorial points of view in the Canadian broadcasting system," the CRTC said in its announcement.

While such applications and approvals are not unusual, there was special interest in this case as AJE's sister channel - Al-Jazeera (Arabic) - was approved only with severely limiting restrictions in 2004. Nevertheless, AJE Director, Tony Burman consistently asserted during the application process that AJE and its affiliate Arabic station are run with entirely different management structures. When the application was announced, there was great support from many segments of Canadian society, but also concern that the approval of AJE might also be subject to highly limiting constraints. The recent CRTC announcement clears the way for distributors in Canada to start providing AJE to viewers imminently.

"We are obviously very pleased with the recent decision by the CRTC," announced Tom Woodley, President of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME.) "We are also pleased with the role that CJPME was able to play in terms of encouraging this approval: we helped introduce Tony Burman to Canadians through two public events, and we also encouraged many of our adherents to submit official letters of support to the CRTC." CJPME believes that AJE will bring much-needed variety and perspective to the Canadian news market, as AJE is known to provide far more extensive coverage from the Developing World than other international news stations.

CJPME was highly involved in generating public support for AJE's application to the CRTC. In addition to public events hosting AJE's Managing Director, Tony Burman, over 2200 CJPME adherents sent letters to the CRTC in support of AJE's application. These letters of support accounted for over 83 percent of the total comments submitted by Canadians. CJPME has learned that only 2 percent of the comments to the CRTC were unsupportive of AJE's bid.

Submit press release to pressrelease@exchangemagazine.com - Editor Jon Rohr - Content published on this site represents the opinion of the individual/organization and/or source provider of the Content. ExchangeMagazine.com is non-partisan, online journal. Privacy Policy. Copyright of Exchange produced editorial is the copyright of Exchange Business Communications Inc. 2009/*.*. Additional editorials, comments and releases are copyright of respective source(s) and/or institutions or organizations.


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