Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Al Jazeera English

I watched a documentary yesterday about Al Jazeera English TV station's effort to break into the cable television programming, and be available to subscribers. I've already written that I want to see and will pay for Al Jazeera English on Comcast's schedule. It's only fair and reasonable. The documentary yesterday made some good point why they should and why the opposition is wrong.

First, the opponents say Al Jazeera English is like the Arabic channel, propograndist at best and anti-American at worst. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The station used the BBC model for their programming, management and operations and hired non-Arabic people as managers and consultants, some of whom have experience in the Middle East on both sides, even working for or with the Americans.

Second, their reporting is objective. The fact they label stories truthfully doesn't deter from the facts and videos of what they report. They reported on "The War in Gaza", and not something like "Israel defends its Homeland." It must be remembered Israel invaded and attacked Gaza, a soverign territory under Palestinian control. Al Jazeera English reported it correctly.

Third, it does provide fair and balanced reporting against the Fox news type reporting, which is America only, meaning Israel can do no harm and portray the Palestinians as the enemy when in truth both sides are wrong, Israel just has the far bigger and better weapons. Al Jazeera English reports it as it is, not spun or tilted to favor any side.

Fourth, it does provide coverage in areas where none of the other media outlets have reporters or can get reporters into. Al Jazeera had the only reporter in Gaza when Israel attacked. Israel then banned and prevented all reporters and media outlet from entering Gaza. They could only report what Israel told them and from the few overlooks outside Gaza.

Fifth, they provide an avenue for American to expand their knowledge and understanding about the world. It's not our world to view as we see fit. It's everyone's world and we just 5% of the population. The other 95% have equal rights to be seen and understood, and we have the responsibiliy, even obligation, to listen and understand, and then provide what works for everyone, not just us.

So, that said, I want Al Jazeera English on my TV. If it's not there, I'll simply view through their Web outlet. TV worth watching.

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