Press Release





Extensive Social Media Campaign To Raise Awareness Includes Online Petition at:

NEW YORK, December 22, 2014 -- Al Jazeera America marks the one-year anniversary of the arrest and wrongful incarceration of the media network’s journalists – Australian correspondent Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian Bureau Chief Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed -- with “Journalism Is Not A Crime,” an hour-long special on Monday, December 29 at 9pm ET with encores at midnight and 4am ET.

On Thursday, December 18, President Barack Obama raised the cases of the Al Jazeera journalists and peaceful civil society activists. He continues to urge the Egyptian government to respect the freedom of the press and uphold the rule of law, which is crucial to Egypt’s long-term stability.

Link to Promo:

Hosted by primetime anchor John Seigenthaler, the special examines the state of journalism around the world and the increase in reporter deaths and imprisonment in the last several years.  On December 29, 2013, three Al Jazeera journalists were detained in Egypt on the charge of spreading false news deemed damaging to the Egyptian state.  In June, 2014 Mohamed and Peter were sentenced to seven years and Baher to ten years without a shred of evidence. The journalists will appeal their sentence before the Egyptian court on January 1, 2015.

 “Journalism Is Not A Crime” features an interview with Peter Greste’s brother via Skype and the following stories from Al Jazeera America’s correspondents:

·      Paul Beban looks at what happened to the AJE journalists and where things stand now.

·      Ali Velshi, Stephanie Sy and Randall Pinkston take a deeper look at each man’s personal story.

·      Nick Schifrin looks at the Geopolitical climate that has led to tougher treatment of journalists, concentrating on China, Syria, Iran and Egypt.

·      Ash-Har Quarashi looks at the U.S. and why freedom of the press is unevenly protected.

·      Roxana Saberi reports the personal stories of other global journalists who’ve experienced hostile regimes including capture and the threat of violence.

·      Al Jazeera English’s Sue Turton discusses her ten-year sentence and how she is “wanted” in Egypt after being convicted in absentia.

·      Excerpts from an interviews with Jon Stewart and Abdullah Elshamy, Al Jazeera’s reporter who was freed earlier this year after a hunger strike, opinions from Bob Simon, Christiane Amanpour and Dan Rather (all recorded earlier).

As the one year anniversary approaches, Al Jazeera America is soliciting influential people and viewers to show solidarity and support for the journalists who have been detained, mistreated or stifled in Egypt by participating in a social media campaign to raise awareness of the continuing injustice.  The network is supporting “Journalism Is Not A Crime” with the following digital outreach and call to action:

·      Digital Campaign - #ThisYear

From December 27-29, the network will solicit viewers to share posts, photos and videos to complete the phrase, “#ThisYear I would have missed [FILL IN THE BLANK].” Tweet your responses to @ajam using or email your photo to

·       #FreeAJStaff

Take a photo holding a sign that says, “Journalism Is Not A Crime” and then tweet it using the hashtag #FreeAJStaff

· Online Petition at:

Beginning December 22, viewers can have their voice heard by adding their name to the petition to free Al Jazeera journalists.

Leading up to the special, Al Jazeera America newscasts throughout the day will feature stories highlighting the challenges that journalists face.  The network will also present the documentary Killing the Messenger: The Deadly Cost of News at 10pm and 1am ET which features journalists reporting from Mexico, Russia, and conflict zones, telling their personal stories of kidnapping, intimidation, and beatings.  Consider This will be pre-empted.

About Al Jazeera America

Al Jazeera America is the U.S. news channel that provides both domestic and international news for American audiences.  Headquartered in New York City with bureaus in 12 cities across the United States, Al Jazeera America is available in more than 61 million homes in the U.S. on Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV Channel 347, Dish Network Channel 215, Verizon FiOS Channel 614 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 1219.   The name “Al Jazeera” means “peninsula.”  Al Jazeera America’s distinctive logo is said to resemble a drop of water and its calligraphic design spells “Al Jazeera” in Arabic.  To find Al Jazeera America in your area, visit

Visit Al Jazeera America online at for the latest updates.  You can also like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @AJAM ( and join the conversation using #AlJazeeraAmerica.

For more information contact:


Jodi Davis, 212-273-4916,

Jocelyn Austin, 212-273-4912,


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