Al Jazeera-- the Arab CNN

Essay by dirrjUniversity, Bachelor's March 2005

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Al Jazeera is center-stage in the modernization of Arab-language broadcasting. Al Jazeera, offers what no broadcaster in the region does - a world-class, free, uncensored, professional source of news and opinion. It is doing its job brilliantly, shown by the widespread criticism of its content by regimes in the region, Israel, and the United States. Of course it is sometimes biased - so are CNN, the BBC. "All news is something, someone, somewhere, doesn't want publish - the rest is advertising." (unknown) But its strength is that it allows dramatically opposing views to be aired. It is a slick and professional operation.

Al Jazeera's most powerful influence in the world today is its controversial news coverage. Al Jazeera brought new insight and new perspectives not previously experienced by Arab audiences. Before this news station, the citizens were simply being fed their information on an "official" basis. It seems that this controversial station has brought the ability of free thinking to the people.

This allows them to form their own opinion about the subjects at hand. Before Al Jazeera, the media was a "mouthpiece" for the government, but this is a commercial and independent broadcast. The result of the introduction of Al Jazeera was heated arguments and opposing viewpoints, which as mentioned earlier, leads to stimulation of debate. Debate, similarly, has the domino-effect potential of promoting increased education of the topic, or topics, in question. It is under this - perhaps somewhat idealistic - school of thought that Al Jazeera has been a crucial factor in the development of the Arab world. Despite the political and cultural hotbed it may aggravate, giving exposure to both Palestinian rebels and US officials - or vice versa - gives people something to talk about. Most importantly, it gives them something to...