Many however have quite the negative view of AlJazeera, especially the Arabic network. They’ve been accused of giving a “voice to terrorists” and have, in the past, aired some seriously anti-Semitic programming.
But AlJazeera English is the station that’s on its way to Canada, not AlJazeera Arabic. AJE was established just three years ago and even though it is, like Aljazeera Arabic, owned by the Qatari government, it operates independently from its big sister station.
CNN’s coverage of American politics is hard to match. It’s comprehensive and seen from all angles. It’s quality. Why? Well it operates from the area on which it reports, the U.S. Atlanta, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and New York City. Everything is covered. Here.
So, naturally, a news channel operating out of the Middle East would give the world a more authentic idea of what is going on there than, say, CNN, whose headquarters are a long way from the Mid-East.
You wouldn’t rely on the BBC for American political news, so why are we forced to watch CNN to learn about the Middle East? After all, CNN’s global sister stations aren’t available to us here in the U.S. and Canada.
The current vast news landscape is made up largely of Middle Eastern issues. AlJazeera’s main headquarters are right smack-dab in the middle of the Middle East: Doha, Qatar, just off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia. They also have broadcast stations in Kuala Lumpur, London and Washington D.C. They air at least one 30-minute news show from each base everyday.
In addition to the four headquarters, AJE has 69 bureaus set up all over the world, many of which are in the southern hemisphere. They also employ 1,200 staff of more than 45 ethnicities.
That doesn’t sound too oppressive to me. These stats make them the most diverse news network in the world.
If you watch the channel you’ll know their anchors, reporters and weathermen come in all colors. As a person of color, that’s a nice thing to see on TV. Finally.
Many of their staff is also women.
I admit I’ve never watched AlJazeera Arabic, aside from all the terrorist videos that have become infamous in the West. I’ve heard the negative criticism and the allegations of anti-Americanism toward the AJA. I’ve also seen some of the proof.
But that doesn’t mean AJE isn’t a quality, unbiased organization. It operates independently from AJA and caters, purposefully, toward a Western audience.
You only have to watch programs like “Witness” and “People & Power” to understand the quality of AlJazeera English. Seriously, download LiveStation and watch those programs. They are phenomenal examples of how AJE brings attention to important issues that get either get lost in Western mainstream media filters or go undetected on news radar.
About 80 per cent of AJE’s stories relate to the Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, about twice as much as the BBC and CNN.
AJE’s reporting of not only Middle Eastern issues but also those issues that affect the forgotten areas of Latin America, Africa and Asia are without a doubt superior to those few pieces produced and released by CNN and the BBC.
The rest of the world needs a voice. AlJazeera English is it. So please come on down to Canada.