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The Boston Globe


Juliette Kayyem

As it grows, Al Jazeera risks losing touch

DOHA, Qatar

Al Jazeera’s global headquarters fill a sandy patch of land on the outskirts of Doha. Only the security is impressive; the campus itself is just a series of flat, unadorned buildings, each host to one of the dozens of separate stations dedicated to news, sports (seven of them), documentaries, and children’s programs. There is electronic gear everywhere and a disconcerting number of stray cats. The scene has the feel of a Benetton advertisement: An Italian cameramen and dark-haired Jordanian women wait for an Egyptian colleague outside the home of Al Jazeera English, the made-for-the-West channel. Once inside the lobby, awards typical for any major media institution are displayed: Peabody, Foreign Press, Amnesty International.

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