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Editors Guild: Al Jazeera's report example of bad journalism

  • Published at 12:40 pm February 7th, 2021
Al Jazeera
File Photo Reuters

The forum finds the report as politically motivated and biased

Denouncing the recent Al Jazeera documentary, ‘All the Prime Minister’s Men’, The Editors Guild of Bangladesh on Sunday said the report had been published for political purposes, without adhering to journalistic integrity for the most part.

“The entire report was about the members of a specific family, yet it was styled ‘All the Prime Minister's Men’,” reads a statement by its President Mozammel Haque Babu.

The Editors Guild said the term ‘Prime Minister's Men’ was used without providing any evidence to back up the allegations raised, which is bad journalism.

A politically motivated and biased documentary can in no way be an example of investigative journalism, the forum said before adding: “It was solely based on casual conversations with a person and the report failed to come up with any evidence to back them up.”

On claims that millions of euros had been invested in Hungary and France, the organization said Al Jazeera had failed to show any source to support the assertion.

“Only hearsay has been used to validate allegations of huge financial transactions in exchange for government contracts. Al-Jazeera did not provide any administrative statements from the European Union or the countries concerned in support of the accusations,” said the Editors Guild.

Also read - DU Teachers' Association: Al Jazeera report a conspiracy against Bangladesh

“The original email ‘threatening to kill’ Sami was not shown, raising a question about its authenticity,” it added.

The Editors Guild also questioned the validity of the documentary as there was no comment from the governments of Hungary, France or Malaysia on those who had been shown to be involved in passport fraud, document forgery, money laundering, etc. in those countries.

“The whole thing was captured on hidden cameras, which cannot be done by a quality media outlet. The documentary did not include statements from the people it reported against — it goes against the principles of journalism,” reads the guild’s statement.

Buying spywares is the government’s prerogative and even then, the report had failed to show any evidence to prove that they were actually bought from an Israeli company, said the Editors Guild.

Expressing doubt about the interviewees’ assertions, the guild noted that one of the main interviewees in the documentary had been convicted by a Bangladeshi court.

“We welcome any news or program in the interest of journalism, but it has to be backed up by logical evidence. Both democracy and journalism are adversely affected if something is propagated with ill-intent,” the editors’ association remarked.

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