Hot Topic - Al Jazeera
Media development in post-conflict zones isn’t for the faint of heart. Each region has their own challenges and no single strategy guarantees success. Strong, persistent actors have an edge.
The Egyptian demonstrations were a perfect venue for the international cable news networks to unleash their mighty power of 24-hour continuous coverage, and the world has been well served. But who was best?
Everything about the process and delivery of news changed with the rise of the Web and mobile media. Something, too, changed with the way news is used. Floating between these two fundamental changes is either anarchy or democracy.
Since our basically positive review 10 days ago of Al Jazeera’ English language news coverage of Gaza we’ve been watching with some amusement as other analysts on both sides of the Atlantic have caught up to the fact that if you really want comprehensive Gaza coverage then Al Jazeera English is the place to be.
On the first day that this writer entered the UPI London bureau in 1971 to take a three-day live copy-editing test to see if he was the “right stuff” for the American news agency the first rule pumped into him by the quiet-spoken, gray-haired editor was that the word “terrorist” was never to appear in UPI copy. “Remember, the copy you are editing is distributed throughout the world, and that readership means one man’s terrorist is another man’s hero”. It’s a rule that remained imprinted in one’s journalistic soul by the printers’ ink running through one’s veins.
The Gaza bombing and Israeli ground assault is Al-Jazeera’s opportunity to prove to the western world that its English language TV news service could be watched by mainstream western viewers with some resemblance of reporting balance from both sides. And by and large it’s doing ok.
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