Friday, 12 October 2012

Week 3 Blog Post

These are two opinion articles from the Arab news site Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera is, I believe, banned in the USA and if you at the site there are a number of petitions to support Al Jazeera being shown in America.

It is with this in mind and the fact that Osama bin Laden used this station nigh on exclusively for his video broadcasts that I decided to search the site for opinions of the USA's policies. I was stunned at how neutral everything was. Even the articles on the Syrian conflict were fastidious in their bland retelling of the events without indicating a single value judgement.

This is pretty much what you would expect from a reputable news channel and even an article such as this from China Daily which is about Chinese anger at a USA duty on Chinese solar power, still maintains impartiality.

So I went to the opinion/editorial section of Al Jazeera and this also surprised me - the articles I have chosen are typical of the ones of this part of the site. Their authors are white, well educated men from America and not the angry muslims that many, including myself, have stereotyped with this news channel.

However, looking past the critical content of the articles, which do indeed crticise america's policies (and searching the opinion sections shows there is a strong lean toward critical rather than supportive articles, and not just of america but all non middle eastern countries), the video widgets embedded in the page - such as "Are US drones terrorising civilians?" - show a bias against the US beyond that of the author.

Given the recent events between so-called Christian America and Islam, it is unsurprising to find an anti US/UK bias. But I was 16 when the Twin Towers came down and before that day no one in the West had heard of Al Jazeera. Since 9/11 they have been portrayed as the mouth piece of the "terrorists" so, as I say, I was surprised at the moderate tone of the site. It is even progressive in some articles -such as this one which touches on the recent American film which caused rioting throughout the middle east

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