By David Bauder - June 12, 2015
Originally appeared here in The Times of Israel
NEW YORK (AP) — The former head of Al Jazeera America’s documentary unit has sued the news network, claiming it is biased against non-Arabs and women in stories that it produces and in how it treats employees.
Shannon High-Bassalik, fired in February after working through half of a three-year contract, said the network’s recently ousted chief executive Ehab Al Shihabi left meetings when women were speaking and admitted that he tried to favor an Arab point of view on the air to please AJAM’s Qatar-based ownership.
Al Jazeera America called High-Bassalik’s accusations unfounded and said she made none of them during an investigation of her employment record conducted by an outside law firm.
The troubled news network, an offshoot of the international Al Jazeera network, has reached few viewers in the United States. Through lawsuits and resignations over the past two months, a picture has emerged of a place that has consistently fallen short in its efforts to give Americans a hard news, unbiased alternative to CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC.
“As ratings failed to live up to the expectations of management, Al Jazeera openly decided to abandon all pretense of neutrality in favor of putting the Arabic viewpoint front and center, openly demanding that programs be aired that criticized countries such as America, Israel and Egypt,” High-Bassalik’s lawsuit stated. Read More