Al-Jazeera appears to be fairly independent: although it is an
Arab station it
has been praised by Shimon Peres for its "credibility and
professionalism". Many of its staff are former employees of
the short-lived BBC Arabic channel, who see themselves as
bringing "BBC values" to the station.
The station also operates on a low budget:
The channel's Afghan outpost is not a plush studio but a small,
ramshackle building where visiting dignitaries have to be filmed
outside or, more likely, on the roof. The rudimentary conditions
occasionally produce moments of tragi-comedy. One of these came
on Sunday night while Mohammed Halimi, one of the staff of the Taliban
foreign minister, was being interviewed - live - on the roof.
"While Halimi was speaking we heard a big noise, like a bomb,"
Kicham said. "Suddenly we had no picture and no sound at all.
After about five minutes, the sound came back and Allouni reported
that a bomb had fallen nearby.
"I'm sorry," he told the studio in Doha, "but the cameraman has
disappeared and I've no idea where he is." The cameraman, it
turned out, had fallen off the roof. "Fortunately, it's not a high
building," Kicham said. "So he climbed back and finished