AL-JAZEERA IN ENGLISH: Western reaction

AL-JAZEERA IN ENGLISH: Western reaction to the Al-Jazeera network has been all over the map, with some praising it as a step towards the liberalization of information flows in the Middle East, while others denounce it as anti-Semitic and anti-American Click here for a debate on the Al-Jazeera’s content, and here for a cache of ...

By , a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast.

AL-JAZEERA IN ENGLISH: Western reaction to the Al-Jazeera network has been all over the map, with some praising it as a step towards the liberalization of information flows in the Middle East, while others denounce it as anti-Semitic and anti-American Click here for a debate on the Al-Jazeera's content, and here for a cache of stories about the network. Soon, English speakers will be able to decide for themselves. Al-Jazeera has opened up an English language web site. However, the site is currently under siege due to the heavy traffic;I haven't been able to access it despite repeated tries. [UPDATE: Apparently hackers are attacking the site] They're suffering from other birthing pains. According to this report, "Articles on the English-language site's first day were sure to antagonize American readers. One feature looked at the influence of the Israeli lobby in Washington. Another, headlined "Coalition of the Willing Has Become a Joke," made light of the "obscure" countries in the U.S.-led coalition. Another, titled "Misinformation Basra," cast doubt on American military assertions about its military success in the southern Iraqi city.... Managing Editor Joanne Tucker, a former BBC journalist who holds dual U.S.-British citizenship and speaks Arabic, has promised Western-style standards of journalism. She said she stands by all the articles but conceded that the site has to do more to clarify what is news and what is opinion." Of course, you could say that about the BBC as well -- and Andrew Sullivan has.

AL-JAZEERA IN ENGLISH: Western reaction to the Al-Jazeera network has been all over the map, with some praising it as a step towards the liberalization of information flows in the Middle East, while others denounce it as anti-Semitic and anti-American Click here for a debate on the Al-Jazeera’s content, and here for a cache of stories about the network. Soon, English speakers will be able to decide for themselves. Al-Jazeera has opened up an English language web site. However, the site is currently under siege due to the heavy traffic;I haven’t been able to access it despite repeated tries. [UPDATE: Apparently hackers are attacking the site] They’re suffering from other birthing pains. According to this report, “Articles on the English-language site’s first day were sure to antagonize American readers. One feature looked at the influence of the Israeli lobby in Washington. Another, headlined “Coalition of the Willing Has Become a Joke,” made light of the “obscure” countries in the U.S.-led coalition. Another, titled “Misinformation Basra,” cast doubt on American military assertions about its military success in the southern Iraqi city…. Managing Editor Joanne Tucker, a former BBC journalist who holds dual U.S.-British citizenship and speaks Arabic, has promised Western-style standards of journalism. She said she stands by all the articles but conceded that the site has to do more to clarify what is news and what is opinion.” Of course, you could say that about the BBC as well — and Andrew Sullivan has.

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner

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