Al-jazeera vs AL-jazeera: A comparison of the network's english and Arabic online coverage of the US/AL Qaeda conflict

Shahira S. Fahmy, Mohammed Al Emad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


In light of US criticism that Al-Jazeera network is biased in its coverage against the United States by aiding the terrorist cause and the fact that most of the accusations of bias continue to be based on the claim that Arab media such as Al-Jazeera Arabic include the language of terror organizations, while its English-language counterpart, Al-Jazeera English, is being cleansed by changes and omissions, this research sought to investigate whether these claims could be validated. Examining online coverage of the US/Al Qaeda conflict in the Arabic-language Al-Jazeera website, these claims were measured against online coverage of the conflict in the English-language Al-Jazeera website. By content analyzing prominence of news stories (frequency and placement), use of sources and tone of coverage, the research demonstrates a significant difference regarding the placement of news stories between the English- and Arabic-language Al-Jazeera websites, but no further differences were found. The overwhelming majority of attributed sources were from the United States and its allies. Furthermore, results revealed Al-Jazeera websites did not shy away from negative coverage regarding all those involved in the conflict. By and large in a highly competitive media environment, our findings suggest that in reporting the US/Al Qaeda conflict Al-Jazeera websites did not provide different perspectives of the war to Arabic- and English-language online users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-232
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Communication Gazette
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Arabic-language Al-Jazeera website
  • English-language Al-Jazeera website
  • US/Al Qaeda conflict
  • war reporting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


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