Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: "I want my Al Jazeera!"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"I want my Al Jazeera!"




“If American officials were to claim that Al Jazeera is against them, their Middle Eastern counterparts likely would reply, "Join the club." According to Yousef Al Shouly, a Palestinian senior producer for Al Jazeera, Western leaders are now absorbing the lesson that Arab heads of state learned over the past five years: "Use Al Jazeera to spread your views; use Al Jazeera to your own benefit." When there is controversy in a country, he says, his station allows both "the government and the opposition to give their point of view. Al Jazeera gives both sides a chance. Al Jazeera has not changed its policy. Governments have changed their policy" to adapt to the network, he says.”

Before its popularity and growth Arab leaders were comfortable with state and local broadcasting. But they wanted to give true journalism no matter who they offended. Choosing between satisfying governments or viewers, Al Jazeera chose the promised future and reported the “unstained truth” as they would like to pride themselves on doing.

“When the network aired a program probing Algeria's civil war, the government in Algiers shut off power, prompting Algerians to flood phone lines with cries of "I want my Al Jazeera!"

Al Jazeera put itself into an uninviting position for advertisers who don’t associate with conflict-filled issues. The commercial industry has a tendency to be more opinionated in the Middle East as oppose to other parts of the democratic world.

“Al Ali says that while other Arab stations earn about 90 percent of their revenue from advertising, commercials account for only about 40 percent of Al Jazeera's revenues. The rest comes from renting out equipment, selling programming and videotapes, and cable subscription fees. The station now operates, he says, without government subsidies.”



Since its creation al-Jazeera has been an extremely controversial network, with the goal of broadcasting only the truth and not sugar coating it. The viewers of al-Jazeera find the coverage of the American War on Iraq to be fair displaying both sides of the war. As the only 24 hour Arab station in the world there is no competition. Not only covering the war but Arab life in detail, always on the scene and ready to serve its viewers.

(“Inside Al Jazeera”:The World's Most Controversial TV Station Rick Zednik)

-EF

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