Source: Zimbabwe Begs Qatar Govt To Cancel Al Jazeera’s Imminent Broadcast | The Zimbabwean
The Zimbabwe govt swiftly contacted the Qatari govt pleading for a right to reply in the @AJIunit ‘s #GoldMafia documentary, ZimEye reports. The development suggests that the 2nd March release is on pause until after the right-to-reply fair-waiting-period has been reached.
The documentary exposes money laundering by several named accused persons interviewed between 2019 and 2023, and so far only the 2nd March broadcast has been postponed. The series is on schedule to run on the 9th, 16th, and 23rd, including the 2nd March session that was lifted.
Correspondence sent to both Qatar’s Foreign Affairs Ministry and to Al Jazeera’s offices, Directorate appeal for ‘adequate-time’ for the Mnangagwa led govt to respond to the allegations contained in the 4 part series. Communications began on the 28th Feb 2023.
Ofcom expectations do not stipulate the length of period but emphasise fairness, that is, an appropriate and timely opportunity to respond.
Although a comment from AlJazeera could not be obtained, suggestions were that the network is to defend its story stating it does not expose the govt of Zim, but rather private individuals.
Ofcom rules stipulate in part:
7.11: If a programme alleges wrongdoing or incompetence or makes other significant allegations, those concerned should normally be given an appropriate and timely opportunity to respond.
7.12: Where a person approached to contribute to a programme chooses to make no comment or refuses to appear in a broadcast, the broadcast should make clear that the individual concerned has chosen not to appear and should give their explanation if it would be unfair not to do so.