Aljazeera: The Rest Of The World Can See It. Why Can't You?
THE Dean of Columbia’s School of Journalism recently bemoaned the lack of public broadcasting in the United States, and went on to argue that America needed its own version of the BBC. I’m sure that he did not intend to upset the venerable PBS when he made those comments, but you get his drift. And there is unintended irony there too; the BBC finds itself under some threat on its home turf, largely at the hands of the inimitable Rupert Murdoch and crew – although the idea that Sky TV can somehow even begin to carry the range and breadth of BBC coverage, would be laughable if it weren’t taken so seriously by a Government that looks to be just as craven towards News Corporation as, well, the last Government.
Is the United States served well by its broadcast media? Well, that’s really a question for Americans. But what struck me when I lived and worked in New York, as Aljazeera’s first United Nations Correspondent was the obvious hunger for international news, and especially for international news that at least tried to be unbiased. That ingredient is sadly in very short supply. In the time since, the situation has if anything got worse. The management of many of the big US broadcasters would prefer to pay unfeasibly large sums to anchors and presenters, even if that means one of the few remaining overseas bureaux have to be cut.
Ironically given all of the controversy surrounding the launch of Aljazeera, and I have already declared my interest here, this English offspring of the much respected Arabic parentage, has shown how it is possible to report in a relatively unbiased fashion, and from all corners of the globe. But it has been an ongoing battle to achieve carriage in the United States, although you may now be able to view Aljazeera north of the border in Canada, at the last count only the good burghers of Washington DC, Toledo and Burlington, Vermont could get access.
I’m not as plugged in as I used to be with my old company, so I don’t really know what other progress is being made, but for Americans who would like to view Aljazeera, you can get it online here http://english.aljazeera.net/
In London, Aljazeera will shortly be re-launched nationally on ‘free view’, and it is already possible to watch the channel if you have a satellite dish. That said, Aljazeera have never been to hot on advertising their wares, rather hoping that the strength of the product will do the job itself.
In New York, one of our offices was located in the Reuters Building in Times Square, and I remember arguing that the company should rent the large screen for a day or two, and run the best of the Aljazeera coverage with the strap-line “The rest of the World can see us, why can’t you?”
That remains a very good question for many Americans who would like to see Aljazeera for themselves – but for the moment at least it is shortly going to be a whole lot easier for the Brits to watch.
Don't underestimate the power of play when it comes to problem-solving.
- As we get older, the work we consistently do builds "rivers of thinking." These give us a rich knowledge of a certain kind of area.
- The problem with this, however, is that as those patterns get deeper, we get locked into them. When this happens it becomes a challenge to think differently — to break from the past and generate new ideas.
- How do we get out of this rut? One way is to bring play and game mechanics into workshops. When we approach problem-solving from a perspective of fun, we lose our fear of failure, allowing us to think boldly and overcome built patterns.
Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
- Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
- This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
- The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
The surprising results come from a new GLAAD survey.
- The survey found that 18- to 34-year-old non-LGBTQ Americans reported feeling less comfortable around LGBTQ people in a variety of hypothetical situations.
- The attitudes of older non-LGBTQ Americans have remained basically constant over the past few years.
- Overall, about 80 percent of Americans support equal rights for LGBTQ people.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.