Aljazeera International was launched last week with generous funding by the Emir of Qatar. I have to admit I am one of those living in the west for such a long time, who simply stopped watching US television and CNN with the exception of PBS when I am home.
From what I read in the press and reviews, Aljazeera International will be broadcasting 24/7 and promoted as the international satellite channel with a mission to bring the views of those long neglected by the US and western media.
Shortly after September 11, the New York Times, CBS and ABC, the German and Japanese televisions visited our house in Fairfax, Virginia to see where someone like me, and Arab-American, professional and a US Army veteran gets the news and of course it is from Aljazeera, certainly not Fox News or CNN.
My biggest complaint about the US and western media is the fact that it does not give fair coverage of the Palestinians under occupation, Israel’s continued occupation, its destructions of entire town and villages and uprooting of trees and its failure to cover the crimes of Israel and its crimes of occupation and give coverage only to the “innocent” Israeli victims and its captive soldiers and never mention the more than 10,000 innocent Palestinians hostages in Israeli jails. Even an organization like the BBC gives 5% coverage to the Palestinians while giving Israel 95% of its coverage.
One of the main reasons that I watch PBS is the in-depth coverage of major news, its independence of certain pressure political and religious lobbies and groups and most of its famous program “Front Line” There is no other similar program with such in-depth coverage of issues and topic. If I want to get my information right, I turn to PBS and watch Front Line and of course I do watch Aljazeera. These are my two souce of news, with Alarabia to follow.
Yes, it is time for Aljazeera International and yes, it is also time for people of the world to have a different perspective on the news from that of CNN, Fox and BBC, and yes, it is time for the news from Africa, Asia and the Middle East to be a focus of an international news organization and not simple sound bites.
The Arabs should have invested in such an international news organization some 20 years ago. However all is not lost and it is never too late. Israel and its Zionist agenda always have an open forum in US media especially Fox News and major newspapers and the Arab point of view hardly ever get a hearing. There is never fair coverage.
I am watching Aljazeera International now as I write this note, and all I can say, it is very professional and yes, it does give major coverage to Arab and Muslim issues and yes, there is nothing wrong with that and yes it is time to challenge the primacy of the CNN.
I thank Qatar for the challenge it has taken to bring issues of concern by the people in the Middle East, Africa and Asia to the forefront and give the people of the world a different perspective on the news and issues coming out of the region. It is time for the people of Africa, Asia and the Middle East to tell their stories without going through censorship and without going through filters and too much editing by news editors sitting in New York, Washington or London and who can be fired at any time for taking Israel and its crimes on. News editors are always at the mercy of the Israeli lobby and serve its wishes.