Monday, January 14, 2013

Al Jazeera America

Green has gone black with the sale of Al Gore's Current TV network to Qatar's Al Jazeera.  This seems a case where truth is greater than fiction.

Al Jazeera has it's English language version up and running with 65 bureaus in 100 countries.  Hardly a small operation and one that has been highly praised.  Their problem has been getting a foothold in the U.S. When all else fails, buy your way in.  Their problem now is whether anyone will watch.  With Current having less than 50,000 viewers at any one time they certainly did not acquire a base audience.

Would you watch it?  After all we have BCC America which has decent enough viewership to keep them around. Of course news from the viewpoint of the British is considerably different than that of Arab countries.  Which, of course, is the point.

There is a problem for me, however.  Our cable service is Time Warner and they say they will not be carrying it.  They have just recently dumped Current due to lack of viewers and I would suppose are taking a wait and see attitude.  I don't hold out much hope because they don't carry Canadian TV either and we're only 90 miles from the border.  It's unconscionable.

That being said, I will sign a petition and hope while continuing to browse it on the web.  Any one who is seriously interested in what is happening in the Middle East and for that matter the world should want to watch it.  It gives a perspective without our media bias and governmental filters.

Too many of us have sworn allegiance to MSNBC or FOX which have diametrically opposed viewpoints filtered through their own biases.  Other than FOX they all lean left.

It isn't necessary to agree with Al Jazeera's point of view any more than it is to agree with the BCC but it adds a dimension we do not readily have by watching our networks alone.

Owned and operated by the culture which it mostly serves opens a window that until now has been closed and curtained.  Some worry about anti-Israeli/pro-Islamic propaganda.  If we can decipher what is propaganda versus truth on our own networks, we should be able to do so there.  At least it is coming to us more straight forward than if coming through our networks.

I'm all for accessing every source of information available in order to keep informed as to the whys and wherefores of the world.  It's critical this day and age.  May the cable companies have the courage to give them an opportunity to build an audience and may we have the wisdom to watch them and learn.

Good luck Al Jazeera.

1 comment:

Margie's Musings said...

On this I really agree with you, Mari. Our own networks give us a lot of propaganda....they always have. To have a balanced view and access to other opinions, we need opposing points of view.

I always recall the blast of propaganda we endured during the second world war when both all Germans and Japanese were demonized.

The same thing happened with Native Americans in past years.

My great grandmother endured and survived the Cherokee move from Florida to Oklahoma.

Having worked in the media in the past, I know about propaganda. We Americans attempt to impose our national values on every culture and I personally do not agree with that.