16 November, 2006

Aljazeera TV (English) launched...
...View a sample in real time

The Al Jazeera newsroom during the launch of their new English-language TV channel. Aljazeera is bank-rolled by the Qatar Royal Family, so George had better be mighty careful not to insult them.

Have a peek at a 15-minute real-time video clip here (click on the "56K modem free trial". This is not the 'YouTube' recorded version apparently preferred by American websites - instead, FunkyPix2 brings you whatever is being broadcast right now. You can stretch the screen if you wish, by dragging the lower right corner, but the quality of the picture naturally reduces. After viewing, close it, click out of the blank screen and you'll be returned here to FunkyPix2).

Let's sit back and observe how the US media reacts to real media democracy, or whether there will be the usual active suppression of Freedom. Already Al Jazeera appears to be mysteriously unavailable in most parts of the US. Gosh George, I'm so surprised. Nevertheless, you can all view it here, anytime night or day, compliments of FunkyPix2.

Al jazeera's presentation format is similar to that of CNN or BBC, but its aim is to make western viewers squirm a little about bias, the selection of what constitutes 'news' (and what doesn't), and the carefully emotive choice of words. It does so in a very moderate and balanced manner - unlike Fox News and other right-wing media. Aljazeera aims "to set the news agenda' [read: 're-set']. The lead item in the initial news, for example, was about Palestinian suffering in Gaza, second was Darfur, Iran, Zimbabwe... and so forth.

Subtlety is the name of the game, as is the case with bias in western reporting. The newsreader spoke, for instance, of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, in contrast to western media which prefer the term "Palestinian territories". This is a massively significant distinction - words can be weapons.

Another example: Israel usually labels as "terrorists" those Hamas fighters launching rockets into Israli cities, whereas Palestinians routinely label them Resistance fighters. That's nothing new - hence the subtle significance of the al Jazeera report which went: "...the Israeli minister is now warning so-called terror organisations will pay a heavy price". It's the adjective "so-called" which makes all the difference here.

The implicit message to the west - at least those in the west who have ears to hear - is "This is precisely how you manipulate us all the time... Why is it somehow wrong when we do it in reverse back to you?"

And of course Al Jazeera is absolutely correct. If you disagree with me, it means (logically), that you are partisan.

It's called 'D-E-M-O-C-R-A-C-Y'. Listen up, now, George: Write it down. Learn to spell it. Muslim media have as much right to existence as Christian media. One is no more right or wrong than the other: they both wreak havoc in different ways... rather like Republicans and Democrats, eh, George? ...ho ho ho (hum).

FunkyPix2 also continues to offer its regular link to the real-time al Jazeera English website on the right of your screen. Now your link to the Aljazeera English TV channel also lives there.â

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