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Retired Missouri Professor Trains Journalists With Al-Jazeera

Retired Missouri Professor Trains Journalists With Al-Jazeera

A retired University of Missouri journalism professor who has been helping train journalists for the Arab news agency Al-Jazeera knows his work might have its critics.

But Roger Gafke, a professor emeritus, believes the two 10-day workshops he conducted in November and last month to train supervisors of Al-Jazeera’s news and sports channels and its Web site will help bridge a communication gap between the news agency and Western media.

“I would hope that we would have other faculty members go there and put on workshops, too,” Gafke says. “It’s important work. The more bridges we build, the better understanding we have of them and the better understanding they have of us.”

Launched in 1996, Al-Jazeera has more than 30 bureaus around the world and is sometimes referred to as “the Arabic CNN.” It is often the first news organization to receive communication from terror organizations and, in particular, Osama bin Laden.

Al-Jazeera plans to launch an English-language channel in April, and has been recruiting English-speaking journalists.

The Bush administration has accused the agency of false and inflammatory reporting, and the U.S.-backed government in Iraq banned Al-Jazeera in August from reporting there.

— Associated Press

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