Al Jazeera Writer Quits, Alleging The News Organization Does Not Allow ‘Freedom Of Thought’

We have heard about much of the upheaval at RT, also known as Russia Today, where a number of journalists have quit publicly over the news organization’s alleged bent for pro-Russia coverage. The station, after all, is funded by the Russian government.

But for all the coverage in the last year on RT journalists giving up their jobs over an apparent lack of autonomy from its benefactors, little has been said about another government-funded news organization and the control it could have over its journalists. That is, not much has been said until now.

In a series of tweets, opinion writer Sarah Kendzior — a St. Louis-based Al Jazeera English columnist — blasted the Qatar-owned media conglomerate for what she said was a lack of “freedom of thought.” Check out her tweets below.

Al Jazeera English Head of Online Imad Musa released the following statement to Mediaite on Sunday (Sept. 21) regarding Kendzior’s allegations.

“A recent Twitter conversation initiated by one of our respected contributors, Sarah Kendzior, has led to some confusion about our editorial processes at

“Sarah is one of our long-time contributors, and she has recently suggested that we have censored her because one of her pieces had not been published a few days after submission. However, her piece was scheduled to run this week, and this was communicated to her by our Opinion editor before this series of tweets.

“It is industry standard for writers to be asked to pitch their ideas before submitting their articles to avoid overlap. I’m still unclear as to how this could be misinterpreted.

“This is not a case of censorship, media restrictions or changes in editorial standards.

“ – and especially its Opinion section – will always be the home of brave and thought-provoking debate and analysis on the issues that matter most.”

[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]