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Al Jazeera English Writer Publicly Quits, Alleging No ‘Freedom of Thought’

On Saturday afternoon Sarah Kendzior publicly announced her resignation as an Al Jazeera English columnist, alleging that the outlet wants its writers to conform to a model that does not allow “room for freedom of thought.”

In a long string of tweets, the St. Louis-based writer lamented the outlet’s changing policies and bidded farewell:

It is unclear from her tweets what exact policy changes have been instituted at AJE. We’ve reached out to the network for comment and will update if and when we hear back.

UPDATE 09/21/14 – 12:35 p.m.: Imad Musa, Head of Online at Al Jazeera English, responded Sunday with the following statement:

A recent Twitter conversation initiated by one of our respected contributors, Sarah Kendzior, has led to some confusion about our editorial processes at aljazeera.com.

Sarah is one of our long-time contributors, and she has recently suggested that we have censored her because one of her pieces had not been published a few days after submission. However, her piece was scheduled to run this week, and this was communicated to her by our Opinion editor before this series of tweets.

It is industry standard for writers to be asked to pitch their ideas before submitting their articles to avoid overlap. I’m still unclear as to how this could be misinterpreted.

This is not a case of censorship, media restrictions or changes in editorial standards.

Aljazeera.com – and especially its Opinion section – will always be the home of brave and thought-provoking debate and analysis on the issues that matter most.

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