For a long time now my dissatisfaction with the limited and often biased news coverage in the US has prompted me to seek out other sources of information. As a reader of this blog, you are aware that Al-Jazeera is one of the news providers that I turn to on a regular basis. And as a member of our society you are probably also aware that Al-Jazeera has always been decried as an anti-American propaganda machine.
But last week, to my utter astonishment and surprise, I saw our Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton bluntly praise Al-Jazeera’s coverage of events in the Middle-East. She did not mince her words when she testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and pointed out that “Al-Jazeera has been a leader in changing people’s minds and attitudes” about the Middle-East.
“Like it or hate it, it is really effective,” our Secretary of State said. “In fact, the viewership of Al-Jazeera is going up in the United States because it is real news.” She continued: “You may not agree with it, but you feel like you are getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads…”
Well said Madam Secretary and thank you for boldly stating what has become so obvious to many of us. It makes me hopeful that change may be possible after all.
And very timely, TED talks just posted a video in which the director general of Al-Jazeera explains how his organization foresaw the coming of the Arab revolutions.
Enjoy and let me know what you think.