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Al-Jazeera, the independent, all-Arab television news network based in Qatar, emerged as ambassador to the Arab world in the events following September 11, 2001. Arabic for "the island," Al-Jazeera has "scooped" the western media conglomerates many times. With its exclusive access to Osama Bin Laden and members of the Taliban, its reputation was burnished quickly through its exposure on CNN. During the 2003 war in Iraq, Al-Jazeera seemed to be everywhere, reporting dramatic stories and images, even as it strived to maintain its independence as an international free press news network. Al-Jazeera sheds light on the background of the network: how it operates, the programs it broadcasts, its effects on Arab viewers, the reactions of the West and Arab states, the implications for the future of news broadcasting in the Middle East, and its struggle for a free press and public opinion in the Arab world.

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