Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Al Jazeeraification

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Al Jazeeraification

Al Jazeera is the unquestionable leader of news in the Arab world.  Thanks to the rise of the internet, more and more people have been given access to Al Jazeera's media coverage.  However, the news outlet is not without its critics, as many view Al Jazeera as an agent for disseminating pro terrorist/extremist propaganda.  Regardless of what one believes Al Jazeera to be, it is undeniable that they captivate their audience through the use of violent images of war.

Yet, while their sometimes extremely violent pictures and videos leave audiences stunned and sometimes appalled, Al Jazeera also goes to extreme lengths to inform those who are watching their network or visiting their website. - Interactive Afghanistan War.  Death tolls by province, year, and line graph of troop levels. - Video providing Bush administration assertions Pre - invasion of Iraq and post invasion/occupation truths. - Interactive 10 years of war in Afghanistan timeline featuring analysis and images.

Still, many believe that Al Jazeera holds an inherent negative bias towards the United States, and it would be unfair to deny that such bias is non existent.  It must be remembered that Al Jazeera is, at its core, a business whose purpose is to make money.  Since the vast majority of their fan base resides in the Middle East, they would be poor businessmen to not provide the people of the Middle East with the slant that they want.  Having a certain "slant" or "bias" about a story may make being objectionable about a story more difficult, but it does not necessarily make it impossible.

The United States media has covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in a similar fashion to Al-Jazeera.  While the American media has unquestionably DISCUSSED and COVERED negative events surrounding American troops, such as the prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib, or the more recent massacre of Afghan civilians allegedly at the hands of a lone Army Sargent, they have done so with a definite bias.  Furthermore, the news media failed to show images of American service members' coffins when they were brought back home to be buried.  This failure to show the negative effects of war from the American perspective was a clear evidence of bias, and an attempt by the news media to control the opinion of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


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