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Exclusive to Al-Jazeera: Media and Democracy in the Middle East

(60 mins) This Wide Angle documentary goes behind the scenes at al-Jazeera’s broadcast headquarters in Qatar during its nonstop coverage of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The program highlights the Arba-language network's differences from its Western counterparts, yet also illustrates striking similarities between al-Jazeera's media sensibilities and those familiar to most Americans. The flow fo world events is dramatically conveyed through the emotional rhythms of the newsroom: tension as network executives defend the broadcast of U.S. prisoners of war; fear and apprehension as a translator juggles Rumsfeld voice-overs with calls home to Iraq; and shock and grief following the death of the network's Baghdad correspondent. The program also features a discussion of Middle East democracy between anchor Jamie Rubin and Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and former Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department.

(Compare to Control Room, also available at the Middle East Center.)