Friday, November 17, 2006

Another Take on the News: Al Jazeera Goes English
On Wednesday, Al Jazeera launched their new English language news channel. I happened to be near a TV that night and caught CNN's little blurb of coverage about it. Unsurprisingly, aside from giving the basics about the new channel, with visuals of their multiethnic anchors and lovely studios, the rest of the story from CNN's point of view was about how many people think this is just a horrible development, because Al Jazeera is clearly just an outlet for terrorists. Please.

My own opinion is, of course, that it is a good thing. I honestly find CNN exceedingly annoying, what with their propensity for talking to absolute death every bit of news they consider interesting to the American public, and yet somehow never actually saying anything new the whole time. NPR is better, certainly for American news. For world news I usually turn to the BBC online, but they are also, albeit understandably, a bit Eurocentric. I expect the Al Jazeera English take on the news will be very interesting. How can people not want to hear the perspective of the people from that whole area of the world over there that we seem so involved in right now? Anyone who still thinks the US holds the admiration of the rest of the world has a very active fantasy life, and I suspect they won't be tuning in anyway. For those of us more interested in actually understanding the world around us as it is, perhaps so we might try to work with it instead of just pissing it off all the time, this offers a great deal.

Besides, I always thought one of the most interesting things about living in another country was getting to watch and read that country's news, just to see how different (or similar) it is to the news I'm more familiar with. This will be sort of like getting to visit another region of the world!

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