Fox News reported (before providing their opinion) on tomorrow’s launch of Al Jazeerah America. Of course, they stressed that Al Jazeerah played Osama Bin Laden’s tapes, which makes them an ally of terrorists, as opposed to being a news organization with a scoop.
AJA’s expressed plan is to focus on news, not opinion, which will make them different than US media organizations, all of which have cut back on news gathering. All major networks are owned by conglomerates, who demand profit from all units. News costs money and does not bring much revenue, so what little news programming left must be made more dramatic, which means less news and more polemic.
Al Jazeerah is owned by the emir of Qatar, who has deep pockets and little interest in profit, or so it seems from past performance. I like to watch the channel, because they provide news, not all of which is pleasant or of interest. They have staff throughout the world and are not afraid to dig deep. Their reporting of the United States is far more truthful and less candy coated than any provided by an American company.
I will be interested to see how many intelligent and discerning folks still reside in the country of my birth: viewership numbers will give an indication. Of course, I expected that much will be done to ensure that as few households as possible have access to “real news”.
I have already stated that I scan a variety of news channels. The current situation in Libya shows how easy it is to color reporting, depending upon ideology, government influence, or commercial interests.
Similar stories sound quite different, depending on which country is behind the channel or in which country that channel is located.
This is the list of channels I scan most days:
Al Jazeera (Qatar)
Fox (US)...(if I want to become angry!)
France24 (France, duh!)
I do not bother with Press TV (Iran): the propaganda is too obvious.
BBC, German stations, and Al Jazeera seem to be the most objective and balanced. The German stations have less coverage, because they broadcast news in the old fashioned manner: 15-30 blocks at certain times of day. Their special reports are excellent; they do not have to fill 24 hours with footage. Al Jazeera has the widest coverage of world events, because they seem to have the widest network of correspondents (something US channels have slashed). Some of the best coverage of the US is done by foreign channels. Foreigners seem to be more interested in that country than its own citizens (or network executives).
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.