Daily News’ Zuckerman Leases Space to Al Jazeera Network - The Jewish Voice
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Daily News’ Zuckerman Leases Space to Al Jazeera Network

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Mort Zuckerman is renting office space to Qatari media giant Al Jazeera
Mort Zuckerman is renting office space to Qatari media giant Al Jazeera
Qatari media giant Al Jazeera will take 86,000 square feet on three separate floors in Boston Properties’ spec office tower at 250 West 55th Street. Al Jazeera will move into just under 50,000 square feet on the second floor of the tower, an expansive space that boasts nearly 30-foot ceilings and could serve as a broadcast studio. It will also take space on the ground and 36th floors of the 1 million-square-foot, 38-story building.

The media company had initially been in talks to take up to 200,000 square feet at the building, according to Crain’s. In December, billionaire George Soros’ investment firm took just shy of 100,000 square feet on the top floor of the tower. Boston Properties also signed three firms to a total of 23,265 on the 16th floor late last month.

Al Jazeera literally “The Island”, is a Doha based broadcaster owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network, which is funded by the House of Thani, the ruling family of Qatar. Initially launched as an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel, Al Jazeera has since expanded into a network with several outlets, including the Internet and specialty TV channels in multiple languages. Al Jazeera is accessible in several world regions. Al Jazeera is owned by the government of Qatar. While Al Jazeera officials have stated that they are editorially independent from the government of Qatar, this assertion has been disputed. Al Jazeera was the subject of a split in the Gulf Cooperation Council that prompted the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to recall their ambassadors from Qatar on 5 March 2014.

The original Al Jazeera channel’s willingness to broadcast dissenting views, for example on call-in shows, created controversies in the Arab States of the Persian Gulf. The station gained worldwide attention following the outbreak of war in Afghanistan, when it was the only channel to cover the war live, from its office there.

In the 2000s, the network was praised by the Index on Censorship for circumventing censorship and contributing to the free exchange of information in the Arab world, and by the Webby Awards, who nominated it as one of the five best news web sites, along with BBC News, National Geographic and The Smoking Gun.

It was also voted by Brandchannel readers as the fifth most influential global brand behind Apple, Google, Ikea and Starbucks. In 2011, Salon.com said Al Jazeera’s coverage of the 2011 Egyptian protests was superior to that of the American news media. Hillary Clinton stated that the US was losing the information war as “Al Jazeera has been the leader in that they are literally changing people’s minds and attitudes. And like it or hate it, it is really effective,” she said.

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