Writing for Communication Management
2009/2010 Semester 2
Pitching to the media
Azmi Suhaimi U071772M
Al Jazeera English
Mr. ( )سيدAl Anstey,
Director of News,
Al Jazeera English.
وبعد طيبة تحية
Greetings Mr. Al Anstey,
In 2007, your network reported the story of air pollution killing more than 3000 people in a month
in Tehran. In July last year, the worst sandstorms of Iraq & Iran‟s history were reported. Upriver
damming of the Euphrates has been cited as a major aggravation for both incidents.
I feel that it is a pertinent issue that your network, and especially, viewers, would be very
interested in, as we acknowledge how important it is to give an Arab perspective on the issue. The
question is, how do we objectively uncover the roots of how, and why, air pollution is occurring?
Hence, I would like to introduce to you the World Cities Summit in Singapore 2010, which would
offer a strategic platform for delegates from various regions, including the Middle East, to
exchange information and ideas on tackling environmental problems, such as air pollution as
mentioned earlier. Discussions on managing sustainable cities through exploring various planning
models and frameworks would also be made.
One of the speakers at the summit, Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf, is an executive secretary of the United
Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, one of our main event partners. He is available for a
broadcast interview with your network, where he will advocate for the need for Middle East
nations to focus on environmental sustainability for the safety of the region.
Why, you might ask, do I mention about the „safety‟ of the region? Environmental sustainability
and politics are intrinsically linked, especially in the Middle East, where several nations share and
contest ownership of one valuable natural resource, water, through rivers that span the length of
Syria is expected to experience water shortages in less than 10 years. It shares water resources with
Israel and Jordan. Its main water source, the Jordan River, has already become polluted, as it
mainly channels sewage from Israeli and Jordanian communities. Relationships between the
countries have been strained, and such could stir potential political conflict. Residents of Jordan
only have one-quarter, and Israel, half, of the minimum water requirement recommended by
hydrologists, and we should not forget that the Six-Day War (1967) between the three nations was
primarily due to water needs as well.
The issue of efficient handling of water resources amongst cities is also part of the main
discussions in the World Cities Summit 2010.
Dr. Ahmed, an Algerian, is well-versed in environmental issues of managing water resources, and
he would provide an Arab perspective on the topic, in line with Al Jazeera‟s principle of
"reversing the North to South flow of information" and emphasizing news from the developing
world. This would be of a major concern to your viewers as well. The previous Six-Day War
involved more than half of the countries in the Middle East and another political conflict due to
water issues could result in massive repercussions for the state of the region.
I believe that these issues of water and air pollution fit the ethos of your network program “Frost
over the World”, whose focus on current political and socio-economic stories would make it best
placed to highlight such.
I feel Dr. Ahmed‟s expertise on the topic could provide a perfect fit with Sir David Frost‟s current
events television interview show, where they can have a good tête-à-tête over the matter, and
where Dr. Ahmed can introduce the crux of the World Cities Summit in line with the topics raised.
Perhaps you could give a look on the Summit if you intend to feature topics on pollution and
environmental sustenance in the Middle East between now and June?
The Summit would tackle such issues of environmental sustainability, where practitioners, policy
makers and leading experts in their field endeavour to solve these problems through collaborative
identification of innovative solutions for issues, including pollution and managing water resources.
Do tell me what you think of the idea. If you are interested in an interview with Dr. Ahmed, I
would be delighted to make the necessary arrangements and discuss with you further.
ً القضية بهذه الكريم اهتمامكم على جزيل
Media Relations Officer, Centre for Liveable Cities.
DID: (+65) 3106 7253
Al Jazeera English is a 24-hour English-language news and current affairs TV channel
headquartered in Doha, Qatar. It is the sister channel of the Arabic-language Al Jazeera. The
station broadcasts news features and analysis, documentaries, live debates, current affairs,
business, technology, and sports. The channel aims to provide both a regional voice and a global
perspective to a potential world audience of over one billion English speakers but without an
Anglo-American worldview. Instead of being run under central command, news management
rotates around broadcasting centres in Kuala Lumpur, Doha, London and Washington, DC.
Al Jazeera is owned by the government of Qatar.
The network's stated objective is "to give voice to untold stories, promote debate, and challenge
Al Jazeera English. (2007, January). Pollution kills thousands in Tehran. Retrieved from
Huffington Post. (2009, June). Sandstorm in Middle East may be largest in history. Retrieved from
BBC News. (2009, July). Iran hit by sandstorm pollution. Retrieved from
Islamic Human Rights Commission UK. (2009, June). River Jordan: Conflict and cooperation. Retrieved from