Poll: Al-Jazeera in English - will you watch?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Lord Blackadder, Nov 15, 2006.


Will you watch Al Jazeera if/when it becomes available?

  1. Yes

    57 vote(s)
  2. No

    42 vote(s)
  1. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    Aljazeera, the Middle east-based News network, is launching an English-language version of its television news in hopes of expanding coverage into territory readitionally dominated by CNN and the BBC.

    I've read their English-language website fairly often and find it an interesting alternative to other news sources. I think it has the same bias issues that other news sources have, but since the bias points in a different direction it makes you more aware of just how bias creeps into any news network.

    I think this is a good thing - Al-Jazeera gives viewers a different picture of the middle east that allows people in Europe and the US to have a counterpoint news source to the usual networks, which often march in lock-step.

    Right now it's only available in the US via broadband streaming (for 32-bit Windows & IE only :mad: ), but it may be picked up by a satellite cable company at some point. But assuming you could watch today, would you?
  2. pivo6 macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2002
    I'll take a look if my satellite company puts it on, and I don't have to pay extra for it.
  3. OwlsAndApples macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2006
    I don't think I'd watch it, despite hating the bbc's bias about the middle east. I prefer getting some data from a reliable source and making my own conclusions, the bbc just tries to please everyone and fails miserably IMO.
    I use google news to read the story from different places to see the consistencies.
  4. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2006
    If I could watch it I would...then again I'm a new junkie, and I spend far too much time on news sites as it is. However, it is an interesting new perspective and I would definitley watch it.
  5. lmalave macrumors 68000


    Nov 8, 2002
    Chinatown NYC
    I would definitely watch it. I think it's super-important to be exposed to different viewpoints even if you don't agree with them. I think what's happened over the past few years with the proliferation of cable news channels and blogs is that people are basically only watching/reading content that most closely matches and reinforces their biases already.

    And the difference is striking. For example, during election night I was flipping back and forth between CNN and Fox News. It was so obvious that CNN was biased toward the Democrats (full disclosure: I'm a far-left liberal myself). Whenever early numbers showed a Democratic candidate behind, they would qualify it with: "these are just early results, they might change". Conversely, whenever early results showed a Democrat ahead, they would accept it as fact and explain all the reasons why the Democrat should be beating the Republican.

    Furthermore, I found it sad that Fox News was able to call that the Democrats had gained a majority in the House hours before CNN did. Why? Because Fox News could call it as it saw it based on the *facts*, and it couldn't be accused of bias toward the Democrats. CNN on the other hand, had to be super-cautious about being accused of bias (especially after the 2000 Gore/Bush Florida election night flip-flop), so they had to wait to be 99.99% sure before making the call.

    Also, there was a obvious, palpable, barely contained glee from the CNN correspondents whenever they were reporting good news about the Democrats. As a Democrat I was also bursting with joy at the news, but still I found it dismaying that a supposedly reputable news agency like CNN would show their bias so obviously.

    Ok, rant over. So yes, I would like to watch Al-Jazeera so I can get some idea of how world events are being perceived by the Arab-language press.
  6. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    That's odd, I didn't think Fox News based anything on facts.

    As for Al-Jazeera, I probably wouldn't watch it. Just like I don't watch any other news channels. It would simply become another option when I ignore all the existing ones already anyway.
  7. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    From what i've read in normal left leading broadsheets (i like to very my paper) Al-Jazeera have narked off as many radical leaning Muslims as it has the Right wing Christian political partys of the west.

    If it gets launced on Freeview i would be very intrested, but i get the feeling that it Sky only - and paid Sky at that.

    At the very least it will piss off the Republican Neo Cons! :p
  8. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    I wouldn't watch it at all. Not that I have anything against Al Jazeera I just find the idea of 24 hour news offensive, I find it hard to even watch a 1/2 hour news broadcast. No news is good news for me.
  9. Raid macrumors 68020


    Feb 18, 2003
    I'd watch it, just to see what's being said over there about the Western world. Ask three different people about what happened at a particular event and you'll probably get 3 different answers. Sadly with all the syndicated news we are often not getting as may viewpoints as we should.
  10. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2006
    Why would I want to watch the propaganda arm of Al Quaida, Hamas and Hezzbollah? Frankly, I wouldn't trust the translation.
  11. xsedrinam macrumors 601


    Oct 21, 2004
  12. lmalave macrumors 68000


    Nov 8, 2002
    Chinatown NYC
    Counterfit, why do you hate America? :p:D

    You obviously want the terrorists to win! :p
  13. Mr. Durden macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2005
    At my work we can watch AlJazeera on TV in certain offices. I've watched it a few times and even though I obviously cant tell exactly what they are saying, it seems to have pretty decent production values.

    Its funny (as in interesting, not ha ha) how you can tell when they are talking about American or "Allied" troops just by the tone and graphics. And the video they show of troops isnt the "look how nice and friendly the liberating troops are" video that we see here. Its troops with guns out, pointed and Iraqis with there hands up or being beat down or whatever. People crying, dead bodies, etc... They have much looser guidlines for what is acceptable to put on the air apparently.

    Oh, and yes, I would watch it, if for no other reason than to get another viewpoint on things.
  14. Bern macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2004
    Why watch something based on radical political views by a bunch of neanderthal killers?
  15. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    Is there a "hell, no" choice for this poll?

    The US version of al-Jazeera isn't even going to be the same as the Persian Gulf version. For example, suicide bombers aren't going to be referred to as "martyrs". If they're going to change the editorial content, then it's NOT the same channel.

    If al-Jazeera is going to be shown here, it should be the ORIGINAL version, subtitled into English, so we can all see EXACTLY what they are saying over there.
  16. spicyapple macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2006
    Translation loses the subtle nuance of the native language.

    I read the english-translated subtitles of a Persian-language documentary video and it wasn't the same. At least with English-spoken Al Jazeera, there is no doubt to the translation.
  17. Lau Guest

    I'd be interested to, definitely, but I since I rarely watch TV news anyway, I doubt I'd get round to it. I must check it out on the web though, as it and weekend papers is how I get my news at the moment.
  18. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    Why watch US news channels indeed (although its reverse Al-Quaida propaganda in this case ;) ).

    Personally I've no need for an English version of Al-Jazeera - I've got the US channels, CNN and BBC for that but I'd say it's a welcome addition.
  19. zflauaus macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2004
    I might watch it, if DirecTV put it on for free, or maybe over the internet if I had broadband, but I honestly think that it will not be the same Al-Jazeera that is Arab because they want to make it look like Arabic countries are not as bad, so they will be like Fox News, sway the facts to make them look good.

    How many people are going to watch Glenn Beck's "Exposed: The Extremist Agenda?" I actually might because it will be very interesting to see the actual video from over there. My mom said she saw a preview on his show last night and was too scared to watch it. That may be true, but the fact is that everybody runs on fear, both television and terrorists. It's just a matter of time until this country is too vulnerable to turn back and be attacked and have more fear put into us.

    Wow.... Where the hell did that come from? ~Looks around room~
  20. rockthecasbah macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2005
    Moorestown, NJ
    I would take a little time out to watch it but i would hardly say it is goign to replace my news sources, just more of a curiosity thing. Now maybe if Comcast picked it up i'd think about it :p
  21. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    You have a good point, and bring up the thing that bothers me the most about this expansion of Al-Jazeera. I know from reading the English web version that the network has a very vocal anti-US, anti-Isreali bias. But then again the US news networks have an only slighty more muted pro-Isreali bias. A friend of mine (and US Marine) has shown me clips of Al-Jazeera taped in the Middle East and I'm sure that we're getting a toned-down version, even though I can't understand Arabic. For one thing, in the US you can't show armed insurgents (in the act of ambushing an American military unit) having their heads blown off by US snipers while a screaming reporter stands 6 feet away...

    It's true that the editorials and reader write-ins can be outrageous and vitriolic (I've seen "martyrs" being mentioned on occasion), but then again is that any different from some of the more outrageous (evangelical, hyper-conservative) editorials and write-ins we see in US newspapers/websites everyday?

    I agree that the network has clear bias issues (and is no better than any other with regards to objectivity) but I wanted to highlight the fact that watching Al-Jazeera may have value - for one thing they sometimes have good articles dealing with how the Islamic world is changing, and there is a moderate element to their reporting that I hope continues to grow.

    It's not like I feel any more comfortable with Rupert Murdoch. I don't want to give the impression that its a better or more trustworthy source, but it is more data. More info. Maybe if people watch it it will expand awareness of at least what other parts of the world are seeing in the same events we "see" through the news media.
  22. srf4real macrumors 68030


    Jul 25, 2006
    paradise beach FL
    It would be nice to hear a different spin on the propaganda U.S. stations spew out... let's have some Middle Eastern propaganda too so as to be fair - minded.:rolleyes:
  23. mrkramer macrumors 603


    Jul 11, 2006
    I would not watch them, because from what i have seen they seem to be even more biased than most US news networks.
  24. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I wouldn't mind taking a look, but I figure it will be the other side of the Fox News coin.

    I wish I had a station, as I did in Philly, that supported a lot of different countries' news reports. BBC News and Deutsch Welle are the only other news shows I see here. Some NHK news might have a better perspective.
  25. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    I asked 3 people about something, and got 5 answers. :confused:

    Shut up Bill. :p

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