Al Jazeera
Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera today called on bloggers and citizen journalists to send in content after reporting that its Cairo bureau had been closed by the Egyptian government.

In a release today, a spokesman said the broadcaster was urging anyone with content to form an alliance with Al Jazeera and send material in via its contribution platforms to be put on air.

The network has also made its own content freely available for republishing through its Creative Commons website in a bid to keep distributing its news within Egypt.

The network says has been receiving messages of support from press freedom organisations and unions across the world after its Cairo bureau was reportedly closed following coverage of anti-government protests.

According to Associated Press, Egypt's official news agency MENA reports that outgoing information minister Anas al-Fikki has "ordered the closure of all activities by Al Jazeera in the Arab republic of Egypt and the annulment of its licences."

The press cards of Al Jazeera staff in Egypt were also reportedly being withdrawn.

At the time a spokesman said the network would continue its coverage of events in Egypt "regardless".

"Al Jazeera sees this as an act designed to stifle and repress the freedom of reporting by the network and its journalists.

"In this time of deep turmoil and unrest in Egyptian society it is imperative that voices from all sides be heard; the closing of our bureau by the Egyptian government is aimed at censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people.

"Al Jazeera assures its audiences in Egypt and across the world that it will continue its in-depth and comprehensive reporting on the events unfolding in Egypt.

"Al Jazeera journalists have brought unparalleled reporting from the ground from across Egypt in the face of great danger and extraordinary circumstances."

It was reported that connections to the internet within Egypt were cut at the end of last week, which the BBC claimed had left millions of Egyptians without access to the web.

Speaking to at the time, BBC Arabic service journalist Carine Torbey said that as a result the broadcaster had not received any user-generated content from inside Egypt during the day, but was being inundated with comments from those outside the country.

At the time of writing it is understood that the internet is still accessible in parts of Egypt.

Detailing how it had adapted to restrictions on communications within Egypt, Al Jazeera said it was using platforms such as Skype to record messages by members of the public, and then promoting them through Facebook.

"Al Jazeera has been the most searched for term on the internet after Egypt itself, according to alexa," a spokesman said in a release.

"The outside world was starved of first hand accounts when the internet went black in Egypt.

"Al Jazeera filled the void with live reports from across the country as the world flocked to our website for the latest developments on the ground."

It has not been possible to reach the official news agency MENA or a spokesman for the Egyptian government.

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