Al Jazeera in English – an email campaign to lobby the CRTC

Tonight, my hubby received the following email:

From: Campaign for Democratic Media –
Date: Thu, May 28, 2009 at 5:00 PM
Subject: Canada needs Al Jazeera!
To:[name redacted]

Broadcast Diversity

We want Al Jazeera English!

Al Jazeera English is being considered for airing in Canada by the CRTC, the federal broadcast regulator. Tell the CRTC to give its approval to list AJE as an “eligible” service so that Canadian cable and satellite companies can carry it.

The CRTC has begun a 30-day consultation period when Canadians are being asked whether AJE should be allowed in Canada. Comments must be received by the CRTC no later than Monday, June 8.

Al Jazeera English is renowned for its high journalistic standards; for its fearless, unembedded reporting, including in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; for giving a global voice to the South; for speaking truth to power; and for its diversity of voices from around the world.p>

Tell the CRTC that you want to see Al Jazeera English in Canada.

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
CRTC Commissioners

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Canada needs Al Jazeera!

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

I urge you to approve Al Jazeera English’s application to broadcast in Canada.

Canadians live in one of the world’s most multicultural and diverse countries. It is important for Canadians to be able to get the diversity of perspectives AJE offers in its unique mix of international news, current affairs and documentaries. Al Jazeera English has 69 bureaus and already broadcasts in more than 100 countries. AJE has more than 1,200 highly experienced staff from nearly 50 nationalities including more than 45 ethnicities, making Al Jazeera English’s newsroom the most diverse in the world.

AJE offers balanced news coverage and has been widely credited for giving a global voice to the South. The Canadian audience is internationally minded and in this globalized age, people want news from all corners of the Earth.

Al Jazeera English will open a Canadian news bureau if it is permitted to broadcast in Canada. This will make AJE the only international broadcas ter located in Canada making Canadian stories available to the world.

Al Jazeera English is acclaimed for its diversity and quality in journalism. Canadians’ communication rights, including the right to receive and impart information regardless of frontiers (Article 19 of the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights), demand that the award-winning Al Jazeera English be approved for broadcasting in Canada. Thank you.

[name redacted]

Campaign for Democratic Media
Ethnic Channels Group

Take Action!
Click here to take action on this issue
Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.

What’s At Stake:

Al Jazeera English requires CRTC permission to be able to broadcast in Canada.

If it wins CRTC approval, AJE will open a Canadian news bureau, making it the only international broadcaster telling our stories to the world.

Al Jazeera English is acclaimed for its diversity and quality in journalism. Canadians have the right to receive and impart information regardless of frontiers (Article 19 of the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights).
Campaign Expiration Date:
June 9, 2009

If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for Campaign for Democratic Media.

Personally, I am torn…  I am not particularly keen on the whole ‘Al Jazeera English’ getting any ‘official blessing’ from anyone.

At the same time, I reject the very notion that the CRTC has ANY jurisdiction over the ‘airwaves’:  as such, lobbying them for – or against – anything would amount to a recognition of their jurisdiction, and thus something I find morally unacceptable.

Still, I thought this interesting enough to let everyone make their own minds up about!

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