12 September 2008
Ex-TV exec launches compensation claim for race, sex and religious discrimination
A former TV journalist has launched a £1 million compensation claim against bosses at Al Jazeera English for race, sex and religious regions.
Josephine Burgin - who previously worked in executive roles at Sky News and ITN - was the most senior female employee at the English-language television channel, which launched in 2006. She was the station's head of planning in Qatar from April 2005 to April 2007, the Metro reported.
She told an employment tribunal in central London that Ibrahim Helal, the station's deputy managing director, ignored her in favour of male employees and rolled his eyes when she spoke.
Ms Burgin, aged 49, further asserted that Mr Helal shouted her down in meetings and eventually sacked her for her relationship with Steve Clark - the director of news at the station and now Ms Burgin's husband - despite her claims that a blind eye was turned to Muslim couples in similar relationships.
She said: "It left me publicly humiliated, deeply hurt and professionally smeared."
Meanwhile, the Scotsman reported that Mr Clark told an employment tribunal that he had seen Mr Helal reject job applications with the words "they are too western".
The tribunal continues in London.