DOHA (AFP) – Five female news presenters at the pan-Arab Al-Jazeera satellite television channel have resigned over conflicts with management over dress code and other issues, a journalist there said on Sunday.
“This collective resignation is not motivated just by the growing pressure on the presenters concerning their dress code, which was evoked by the media,” said the journalist, who asked not to be identified.
“The conflicts run much deeper,” the journalist added.
The news presenters who have reportedly quit are Jumana Namur, Lina Zahreddin, Lona al-Shibel, Julnar Mussa and Nofar Afli.
The Al-Hayat daily reported on Sunday that they had resigned in the past few days after petitioning management in January over repeated criticism from a top company official for allegedly not being conservative enough in their dress.
Management of the Doha-based channel told AFP it would issue a response later.
Established in 1996 by the government of Qatar, Al-Jazeera has revamped the Arab media scene by departing from the traditional government-mouthpiece news style and providing wide news coverage, and becoming a trailblazer for many subsequent channels.
But its editorial line has been strongly criticised by Washington, which has accused the channel of becoming a podium for Islamist extremists, mainly in Iraq, where it has been banned from operating since 2004.
The network has several channels, including Al-Jazeera English.