Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Al Jazeera

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Al Jazeera

Fox News and Al Jazeera are on completely opposite ends of the spectrum. After watching both "Out-Foxed" and "Control Room," it appeared to me that Al Jazeera was more objective than Fox. Granted, Al Jazeera took a position against the U.S. invasion of Iraq. It still seems to me that Al Jazeera's reporting was more truthful and less biased.
I understand that pictures are more persuasive than words and Al Jazeera uses imagery as a vital element to its reports. However, the images shown on the network are the casualties of war on both sides, and they are images that American networks cannot show.
The "Out Foxed" documentary portrayed Fox News and Rupert Murdoch in a negative light. "Control Room" was the opposite for Al Jazeera. It was a documentary supporting the network.
Even with all this in mind and admitting that both networks are not completely unbiased, I believe that Al Jazeera is more credible and more objective than Fox News.


Blogger CBarr said...

I wonder if the manner in which both of these "documentaries" were made plays a role in your opinion of Al Jazeera being more objective. Current staff was involved in "Control Room" where "outFoxed" was just clips and interviews with ex-employees and members of various interest groups, put together in a way to illustrate the director's argument. I think both are effective pieces of propaganda. Do we believe that Al Jazeera is objective because of the way they portrayed themselves in "Control Room?" Had someone that believes they are not objective (such as Pentagon officials) put together a documentary in the fashion "outFoxed" was, would we believe they were less objective than we do after watching "Control Room?"

4/29/2006 4:22 PM  
Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post and a good comment. It is hard to form an objective opinion of either network from these two documentaries alone. The Outfoxed documentary was especially hampered by the lack of access to current FOX employees and facilities that the makers of The Control Room had at Al Jazeera.

It is important to make the distinction between the opinion shows and the newscasts on both networks. There are professional journalists at both networks, doing their best to collect and present facts and the news. The blurring between news and commentary at FOX is very troubling and needs to be criticized. Al Jazeera has its excesses as well. It is hard to control what every guest or host has to say. The extreme voices on both networks are difficult to control and they attract attention and viewers. Is it the war that makes these views so extreme? Al Jazeera refelcts the anger of many people in the Middle East. What can we learn from the anger expressed on both these stations?

5/02/2006 12:04 AM  

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