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Al-Jazeera taps ABC vet

Gizbert new anchor at Arab satcaster

Richard Gizbert, the former London-based ABC reporter who won an unfair-dismissal tribunal ruling in 2005 after refusing to go to Iraq to cover the war, has been hired by Arab satcaster Al-Jazeera for its English-language edition.

Gizbert will present “Listening Post,” Al-Jazeera’s world-media review show. Program will include reports from viewers produced on Webcams or camera phones.

Gizbert promised to “challenge the norm” by giving a platform to new voices, adding, “We don’t care if they are from the West Bank or Washington.”

Gizbert worked for ABC for 11 years, including stints in war-torn Rwanda and Bosnia. In a precedent-setting case, he used U.K. health and safety legislation to challenge his dismissal after he refused to take assignments in Iraq.

ABC countered that Gizbert had been dismissed for budgetary reasons and not because he had refused to work in a war zone.

A U.K. employment tribunal found in Gizbert’s favor, and the compensation hearing is scheduled for May 25-26. Gizbert is seeking $4 million in compensation. ABC News is appealing the judgment.

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