Philippe Cayla
Chmn. & CEO, EuroNews

Does Al Jazeera report the news, or create the news?

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Philippe Cayla says that Al Jazeera has a clear bias toward extreme Middle East factions like Hamas and Hezbollah.

Philippe Cayla

Philippe Cayla has been Chairman and CEO of EuroNews since 2003. A graduate of the Ecole des Mines de Paris, the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris and the Ecole Nationale d'Administration, Cayla began his career as a civil servant in the Equipment, Industry and Foreign Trade Ministries and as a technical advisor to the French Minister of Foreign Trade, Michel Jobert. From 1985 to 1992, Cayla was the Sales and Finance Director, the Strategy Director and finally the Deputy Managing Director and Strategy Director for Matra-Marconi Space, Europe's largest spacecraft manufacturer and a provider of communications ground terminals, sub-systems for rocket launchers and supplies for the International Space Station. In 1993, Cayla joined Eutelsat, one of the world's leading providers of satellite infrastructure and telecommunications. Cayla began working in television directly in 2000, when he became Director of International Development at France Televisions. At EuroNews he succeeded Stewart Purvis. Ideas recorded at the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival on: 7/2/07


Question: Does Al Jazeera report the news, or create the news?

Philippe Cayla: In fact, if you watch Euro News and Al Jazeera in English, yes. They report very much about Mid East issues. And of course, even if they pretend to be balanced, in fact it’s very much on the side of the Hamaas and Hezbollah. Even as you know the … of Qatar who is … Al Jazeera is the only one who is never charged by Al Jazeera. And it is one of the approaches which all the Arabs make to Al Jazeera, that it is so much sponsored and managed by the … of Qatar that it’s not completely … the lack of … is so scary. But Al Jazeera, I don’t think, is clearly promoting violence; but it shows images of violence. And the fact that they show so much, of course, encourages youths to go to this direction. As you know in Arab countries, I think 50% of the population is under 15. So at this age … 15, 16, 17, you are very fragile. And when you see images of Hamaas use, or Hezbollah use, flags and shouting and crying, … create an appeal. So it’s a simple fact of presenting that …. It’s not good for our democratic approach as a province, I would say. But that’s a fact and we have to cope with it. It’s … But it’s not the only news channel, by the way, in the Arab world. I don’t know if you know, but there are Arab satellites, Arab …. There are 250 channels as a whole . . . 250 non-encrypted channels. And 25 of them pretend to be news channels, but …. But 25 of them. So they have 25 news channels. Al Jazeera is the most known, but there is also Arabiya, which is very well known. There is also a Lebanese one. There is a Hezbollah one, and …, which is very, very bad in terms of presenting violence. It’s even forbidden in Europe. Now it’s the only one that is completely forbidden of broadcasting in Europe. So …. You’re right. 

Recorded on: 7/2/07