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M I D D L E - E A S T  : M E D I A

NEWS MAKERS
The rise of Al-Jazeera - virtuous or evil??

They are called the ‘CNN of the Middle East’ even when they dislikeAl-jazeera comparisions to their anti-thesis. It might be that they are waiting for their pinnacle when CNN or BBC would gleefully accept being known as ‘Al-Jazeera of the West’! From being just another obscure television channel of West Asia, Al-Jazeera has come a long way to be among the noted ones in the global mass media and has been no doubt a breather for the global audience fed up with the stereotype propaganda of CNN and BBC. Their ability to reach out to many of the extremist elements of West Asia and the ease with which they come out with the video or audio tapes of bin Laden or his comrades at regular intervals have really made the larger audience rely on them for more credible information. Many a times, their help has been sought by many governments for release of journalists or staff of Western MNCs abducted by the extremists. It’s because of their sheer ability to reach out to them. And with the launch of their new English channel, they are also trying to play it out on a bigger canvas. However, they need to be careful, not to be labeled as prejudiced and a mere public relation machinery of the Islamic fundamentalists.

Pathikrit Payne

  
 
 
       
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