Friday, March 04, 2011

Quote of the Day


"Viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it's real news. You may not agree with it, but you feel like you're getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners."

-- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

In addition to the actual people forcing much-needed change down the throats of their repressive governments, the winners in the recent Middle Eastern upheaval have been Facebook, Twitter and, yes, Al Jazeera. Despite the pants-wetting terror and outrage it's produced from the usual suspects on the right, the Qatar-based network has consistently proven its journalism to be not only outstanding but, more importantly, beholden to no state or authority. Al Jazeera pisses off everyone at various times -- without seeming to care that it does -- and that's what makes its journalists so good and so special these days. If you wanted to know what was really going on on the ground during the coverage of the Egyptian uprising in particular, Al Jazeera English -- which operates out of a non-descript office building in Washington, DC -- was the only network you should've been glued to. The contrast between its people being right in the middle of the story from day one and remaining there 24/7 and, say, Fox News or MSNBC's almost non-stop parade of self-described "experts" debating it from the comfort of a New York City studio was almost comical. Yes, both CNN and MS have done some excellent work overseas, and are continuing to. But there's just no contest -- Al Jazeera is blowing them away on what could be the most important and potentially game-changing series of socio-political events this planet has seen in the last fifty years.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, our news outlets have become too corporate. The reason our "news" is anything but is simply a matter of good business - it was more profitable to turn it into infotainment than real news.

As sad as this is, we likely won't see real news rear its head again in the US unless either its done by a non-profit group dedicated to the task or an external source like Al Jazeera starts to become more profitable than a station like Fox News.

MJG said...

Not to promo an application, but this has been great:

http://www.livestation.com/

littlebitoffeisty said...

We watch the BBC for this very reason. I will have to search and see if we have access to Al Jazeera on our cable system.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, though I also watch BBC & some European news program (I think they are French...) I only watched NBCCBSABC in Texas while visiting the family & got a reminder why I watch BBC, etc. (Luckily the "news" did not provide fodder for my non-talkative father - he would have irritated me otherwise, I am sure.)

Anonymous said...

Aljazeera reports the news, eh?

Head on over to their English site and run a search on "Lara Logan." You will find one result referencing her--from 2007.

Chez said...

Oh, I'm sorry. Was it absolutely necessary for them to stop focusing on the impact of a story on millions in order to highlight one admittedly atrocious act against a reporter? I must've missed that class in J-school.

I assume that's the point you're trying to make. What's news to you isn't necessarily news to half-a-planet. Should they have reported it in one form or another? Probably. Is it really some kind of hiderous black mark on what's an otherwise pretty damn good record? Not a chance.

Ducky said...

Like I said before, interesting times. Historians and political science majors are (or rather should be) watching the events unfolding rather closely. My own chats with my professor lately has been nothing but news about this, and contrary to popular belief, these events impact us, now and for the foreseeable future. Now more than ever, the eye of history requires solid journalism, and Al Jazeera is the closest to the source. Hopefully, they will continue with the good work that many of our own news networks have been sorely lacking in.

Jester said...

Summed it up for me back in May of last year:
http://www.i-am-bored.com/bored_link.cfm?link_id=48547

The "Harnessing the power of bugs" article was particularly relevant to my interests.

CNNfan said...

Al Jazeera English on YouTube ...
Streams Live.

pknaack1 said...

We also like to watch RT (rt.com) which has pretty good coverage on a channel on our local cable TV network.