in media, new media, television

Why Al Jazeera English rocks

Simply put, it’s a lot smarter than American news outlets, and comes close to rivalling the BBC World Service in quality. I’ve personally found that I’m getting more and more of my news from Al Jazeera English, particularly their iPhone app, which lets me watch a live stream of the channel from anywhere I’d like, as well as using Livestation on my PC.

But don’t take my word for it, read Robert D. Kaplan’s article in the Atlantic. Kaplan not only points out that Al Jazeera English has the hustle for scoops that other international news gatherers seem to lack, they’re also a unique window into the attitudes of the developing world’s emerging middle class.

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  1. I agree it’s a great news channel. I used to watch it everyday when I lived in the UK (Sky channel 514) and I was surprised when I found out I wouldn’t be able to watch it on cable in Canada.

    I don’t have the iPhone app yet so the only way I can watch it is to connect to my UK VPN and watch it through Zattoo.

    To put it simply, I find they are more honest and open about what they show. Little of it is sugar coated / bias and it just seems more ‘real’. They’ve hired a lot of great presenters and reporters from the big european networks over the last few years (probably elsewhere too, but I don’t recognize them) and it seems to go from strength to strength over there. I hope it’s not long before we see it available on regular television over here.

  2. You can actually get AJE, along with BBC World Service, on the Livestation desktop app. No BBC World Service love on the iPhone yet, though I’ve been harassing them about that.

    One of the podcasts I watch is Listening Post, and I noticed they stole away the guy from Click Online. Then there’s Frost…though I think Riz Khan is just as good an interviewer, if not better. The Arts show podcast is great too (and looks spectacular in HD) though it seems to come out pretty infrequently.

    There is a little bit of anti-Isreali bias, but given the free pass Israel gets on American media, that’s not surprising or even all that disturbing. Besides, when I was in Cairo they were running anti-Israeli propaganda on the kid’s cartoon network that was WAY worse than anything on AJE.