Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera has been heavily in the news since last fall. I just looked at this today:

Why the heck haven’t I seen most of this information before? Not one report I’ve read in newspapers or magazines or seen on the TV or on the radio even hinted that Al Jazeera was born of the ashes of the BBC Arabic Television. None of them emphasize how Al Jazeera fights against local corruption and censorship. Everything seemed to suggest they were an arm of extremists, in fact.

Are the news outlets asleep at the switch, or are they this biased?

has this really been the case? i’ve always pretty much respected al jazeera, and cnn uses their footage all the time. i guess the article seems to indicate their has been bias against al-jazeera, but i’ve never really been exposed to it.

how bad is the us public and media’s attitude towards al-jazeera?

(sorry not to really answer the OP, but i’m curious.)

Answer: Most Americans think al-Jezeera sang the theme song to “Moonlighting.”

Hey you live in a country with a lazy, biased newsservice. In Britain, al-Jazeera was in generally treated as a respectable newssource, or else as an unknown.

If you want real news turn off the TV, throw out Time magazine, and get surfing.

Now how to get hold of the other 200 million in the states?

Most people I know consider it to be a useful but suspect source of information. They do a decent job of reporting and have an admirable history of resisting government intervention but tend to use language in overtly biased ways.

For my part, I haven’t seen enough of al-Jazeera to form much of an opinion. What little I have seen matches up with the above description. YMMV.
RR

Well, interesting.

First, good article. Very good.

Second, I use al-Jazeerah as a primary news source. Watch it all the time.

Some comments:

Like journalists anywhere, their language and perspectives are shaped by their environment. As such while there are topics, such as Israel, where their use of language may be chararcterized as biased, it is not terribly worse than run-of-the-mill American coverage of the Middle East. Perspectives differ and they have to talk to their audiences. For all that, over time they’ve done a very decent job of at least allowing, for example, the Israeli perspective to get out, including interviews with Isreali ministers etc. In Arabic.

The complaints coming out of Bush ibn Bush’s administration really strike me as largely stupid and hypocritical (rather in the same vein Rice’s idiotic statement this week of admonishing Chavex to respect the constitutional process after her admin had welcomed a coup d’etat) – tone deafness in re understanding the situation.

Now, al-Jazeerah has made errors, that’s clear. The CNN Bin Laden tape fiasco a few months ago which they refused to run for obscure reasons. But taken in a global perspective al-Jazeerah is a pretty decent news source that did not deserve many of the frankly jingoistic smears it garnered from the Administration.

I thought it would be George bin George al-Bush :slight_smile: .

I exaggerate somewhat in stating the perceived quality of al-Jazzerah’s reporting. I don’t think they are perceived as a tool of the extremists, but I do think that they are highly suspect in most people’s eyes. I also think that the administration has demonized them somewhat.

Reading the articles I have the other day still has me hopping mad. I don’t recall hearing anything at all about al-Jazeerah’s claim that the U.S. had deliberately bombed their Kabul office. I don’t know if it’s true (although, were I al-Jazeerah, with all that’s happened to them after criticizing various governments, I’d certainly believe it), but it’s significant that I haven’t even heard about this. And hearing again at how the Bush administration has asked the news companies not to broadcast Osama bin Laden’s speeches for fear of “hidden messages” strikes me as an incredible obvious, transparent fraud, and the news agencies are spineless jellyfish to cave on this. (As if terrorist networks have no better method to communicate ideas than coded messages in recorded speeches. This isn’t the Pueblo incident.)

An interesting article about the bin Laden interview, alleging serious CNN bias and dirty tricks (or ignorance).

jjimm Thank you! I’ve been wondering what this was all about:

http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/01/31/gen.aljazeera.statement/index.html

I’m in the US and based on limited info I don’t picture Al Jazeera as being in the extremist camp.

IIRC I saw a report (on 60 Minutes, maybe) portraying their news service as being fairly objective, consequently ticking off many Arabs as often as non-Arabs. Did anyone else see that?

At first, the buzz was that al-Jazîrah was a hero of freedom of speech, a pioneer in the Arab world, for openly airing criticism of corrupt regimes. They were praised for their independent approach.

Then next thing you know we’re supposed to think they’re the bad guys because they aired opinions that disagreed with U.S. foreign policy. The same independence that earned them praise from Americans also got them attacked. Freedom of speech cuts both ways, Bush!

I’ve always thought that both sides of any dispute attacking one simultaneously is evidence of one’s impartiality.

If you follow media outlets that cover Middle Eastern affairs beyond the usual Israel-Palestine story, you would have heard about al-Jazeera. Many of the region’s despotic rulers hate the station and have complained to Qatar for hosting it. Libya even broke off diplomatic relations, IIRC. Interestingly, al-Jazeera has boosted Qatar’s regional influence.

Read more widely, and you’d also know about the tentative development of contstitutional monarchy in Bahrain, the problem of disaffected youths in Saudi, etc, etc.

But if you stick to CNN and Time, you’ll never know these things.

No need to be snide.
I’ve heard of al-Jazeerah. It’s impossible not to have heard of it, or of the reactions against it. And it’s long ben obvious that US news outlets are shockingly less than comprhensive in their coverage. My point and complaint is that such basic and obvious items as those covered in the report cited in the OP have not been touched on at all in the US media (except for the MSNBC report). Heck, not one report on TV or American papers even says that “al Jazeerah” = “The Peninsula”.