Arab Media & Society, Spring 2011
, William Youmans and Katie Brown: In a experiment, American subjects viewed an Al Jazeera English report about the Taliban that was labeled either as from AJE or from CNN International. "The findings that show differential bias ratings between AJE and CNNI based on the same exact news clip suggest Americans are, on average, still unable to fairly evaluate the station. If there was no prejudice against AJE, the reputational change between CNNI and AJE would be equal. Instead, we see no movement for AJE and gain for CNNI. Though we did not see movement by condition for the trustworthiness, likelihood to watch, and the cable carriage questions, AJE was evaluated significantly less favorably on all three vis-à-vis CNNI, regardless of condition and likewise witnessed no movement on these questions. Taken together, these findings suggest that CNNI’s evaluations benefited from the clip, while AJE’s did not. On the contrary, perceptions of AJE appear to be not only negative, but stable. Further, the American public’s interest in Al Jazeera English – to the extent the MTurk sample is representative – is not substantial. Ninety-eight percent of participants had little or no exposure to the news channel, yet generally find it untrustworthy and are uninterested in watching, even after exposure to a clip that is credible enough to boost CNNI evaluations when ascribed to that network. This does not bode well for the prospects of AJE gaining a broad audience in the United States, while CNNI’s better evaluations likely resulted from the goodwill of CNNI’s brand." -- Trustworthiness is developed over years, not in one viewing. Nevertheless, this is a well-executed study with an important finding.
Summarized by Mediaite, 17 Mar 2011
, Mark Joyella. And by Media Bistro, 17 Mar 2011
, Alex Weprin
Bloomberg, 15 Mar 2011, Lee C. Bollinger: "The Qatar-based network’s reporting and viewership is by no means limited to the Arab world: it has more bureaus in Latin America than either CNN or the BBC. As a State Department official recently explained with respect to the government’s engagement with Al Jazeera, 'If we are not in the conversation, people will be speaking for us or about us.' ... The arguments against access to foreign media are grounded in fears about surrendering U.S. sovereignty. These objections will be overcome only after we recognize that the information available to us through the global public forum is critically valuable both to our democracy and commercial interests in international markets."
Future of Capitalism, 15 Mar 2011, Ira Stoll: "The whole column is an embarrassment to both Mr. Bollinger (who is apparently difficult to embarrass) and Businessweek. It's not clear what is so special about Al Jazeera that it deserves to be forced by the U.S. government onto American televisions. Does Mr. Bollinger want every foreign television channel whose owner is a major Columbia donor or potential one to be forced by the American government onto American television?
Bizcommunity.com, 9 May 2011, Oresti Patricios: "The network is currently in three American cities but there's increasing pressure from people, including the White House administration, for that to change. Small wonder that conservative media brands like the FOX Broadcasting Company are more than a little annoyed with this move, but they should get used to it. With the Middle East set to play a stronger role in world politics in general and the US in particular, it looks like Al Jazeera's more than here to stay."
Bangor Daily News, 11 Mar 2011, editorial: "Time Warner and the rest of the cable systems should see the light before long. When they do, they will be helping their viewers, their country and their own business. Al Jazeera’s time has come."
The Guardian, Comment is Free, 10 Mar 2011, Stephen Maher and Michael Corcoran: "While US shows largely consist of political strategists rehashing partisan talking points in superficial "debates" that last only minutes between commercials breaks, al-Jazeera programmes, like Marwan Bishara's 'Empire', feature much longer, in-depth conversations, without excessive commercial breaks, that are far more informative than anything seen on US cable news. Likewise, the channel's hard news segments put US media to shame. Al-Jazeera had on-location, nuanced reports from the very start of the Egyptian uprising, virtually every US news channel was reduced to broadcasting images from al-Jazeera, having no footage of their own. Notably, the Drudge Report regularly linked to AJE's coverage of the Arab Spring."
Huffington Post, 14 Mar 2011, Frank Schaeffer: "We Americans are so isolated from the larger world that we will always be a dollar short and a day late unless we find alternatives to our "media." Al Jazeera is that alternative. It's time America's cable companies are deluged by Americans asking that Al Jazeera become part of a standard cable package everywhere. ... If freedom and democracy comes to countries ranging from Egypt to Libya future historians will note that the freedom of information provided by Al Jazeera (at great cost) played a huge role, a bigger role than the increasingly irrelevant US media that is too busy worrying about Charlie Sheen to notice that the planet is changing."
The Keene (NH) Sentinel, 17 Mar 2011: "You can’t watch BBC World, the 24-hour BBC news service, on the big U.S. cable or satellite TV systems. Some PBS stations run half hours here and there. But no full-time BBC World, which is available just about everywhere else in the world. No France 24 either, the news channel broadcasting from Paris with versions in English and French. No CBC News from Canada. No access to China’s or Russia’s global English language networks. No NHK World from Japan. And, with a few exceptions, no Al-Jazeera English. Nope. Although the United States has military involvements in countries around the world, the people of the United States have little access to other countries’ news and opinion on the TV spectrum, for reasons that are probably both economical and ideological."
dagblog, 15 Mar 2011, Orion: "Al Jazeera recently covered the issue of endangered wolves in the United States and did an amazing job of it. More so than any sort of conservative propaganda could, you are able to empathize with the farmer Druska and her husband Richard, who make their living by feeding America."
LA Observed, 14 Mar 2011, Kevin Roderick: "KPFK [Los Angeles] will start carrying the news from Al Jazeera English at 3 p.m. during the week. 'The virtual exclusion of Al Jazeera English from the American media market is an absurdity that KPFK is thrilled to help rectify,' program manager Alan Minsky said in a statement."
Eastern Iowa Business, 14 Mar 2011, Dave DeWitte: "A grassroots movement is brewing in Iowa City to get Mediacom to add Al Jazeera, the Arab-centric satellite news channel, to its lineup. Letters to the editor urging Mediacom to pick up Al Jazeera have been showing up in the daily Press-Citizen newspaper, and Paul Deaton of the politically-oriented Blog for Iowa wrote a post about their demands over the weekend."
Mobiputing, 15 Mar 2011, citing reddit: "[T]he folks at the Al Jazeera network, which has been having a tough time finding US cable distributors, have sidestepped the whole argument by offering free apps that let you watch live news from the network for free — no subscription required. Al Jazeera LIVE for Android offers live streams of Al Jazeera’s English and Arabic new services. Video quality is reasonably good for the live streams, and you can also download the latest 'video news bulletins' for offline viewing."
Daytona Beach News-Journal, 11 Mar 2011, Deborah Circelli: The board of trustees of Daytona State College "approved an amendment to its agreement with MHz Networks, which airs Al Jazeera English and Russia Today, on the college's public television station. The amendment confirms the college has control over programming. The board left the decision about whether to keep the shows up to the administration." See previous post about same subject.
See previous post about same subject.