PMA Statement

On the 15th September 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice required Al Jazeera’s America-based social media division,AJ+, to file under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, better known as FARA.

This decision essentially labels the Doha-based news organisation as an ‘agent of the government of Qatar’. Although Al Jazeera receives funding from the Qatari Government, the factors that define media independence and impartiality are complex and should not be based on political decisions.

The Public Media Alliance [PMA] supports free and independent public media worldwide and is concerned by this decision as it calls into question the independence of AJ+ journalists and their ability to act in an objective and professional manner. The decision is likely to impact the reputation and ability of AJ+ journalists in the U.S. to operate, putting their press credentials and information sources at risk.

PMA believes that it is essential for citizens everywhere to have access to independent and pluralistic media to provide them with the information they need to shape and inform their worldview.

Header Image: The Al Jazeera English newsroom. Credit: Al Jazeera Media Network