Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Al Jazeera TV news updates during Egypt's political reform

This is my first and official attempt to start blogging. I can honestly say that it's been purely fueled by what's recently been happening in Egypt (our infamous political reform).

Just like any Arab, I tend to rely on a number of channels to get all the news updates, while understanding different point of views, given the sources and their agendas of course. The one thing that really ticked me off though was Al Jazeera's slanted and biased reporting. 

Two main incidents stand clear in my mind, after which my parents and I decided to boycott Al Jazeera, at least until all the chaos in Egypt comes to a rest. 

1) Incident one: Reporting on the appointment of Omar Suleiman as vice president

When Mubarak announced his appointment of Omar Suleiman as vice president, Al Jazeera announced on their screen ticker: "Crowds protest against the appointment of Omar Suleiman" exactly two minutes after the announcement. It's funny how one can make such a bold statement, given that a large majority of the people at Tahrir Sq may have still not heard of Suleiman's appointment. 

A few hours later, Naguib Suwairus called up Mehwar TV and commented about Al Jazeera's claims about the protesters' discontent with Suleiman's new post. He may have also mocked the channel for its unreasonable claims and biased reporting. An hour later, Al Jazeera TV announces that Naguib Suwairus has fled the country with his family. 

A couple of days later, Naguib Suwairus called up Mehwar TV to share his story about Al Jazeera TV. He also added that he did try to call them and shared his home phone number and demanded they rectify their news announcement - that's when people in the news room refused to amend the news update. This is according to Suwairus. 

2) Incident two: Al Jazeera TV's: 'Corrupt institutes in Egypt' exclusive report

A number of Egyptians and Arabs for that matter; started to realize that Al Jazeera is relatively biased. While they did report on the developments on ground in real time, their tone agitated and infuriated a number of people. 

They instilled a sense of chaos, catastrophe and terror among people. I'm not saying that the events at the time were all pink and bubbly, but they neglected to report on the fact that people organized neighborhood watches and worked with one another to help protect their homes, during a time where the police were no where to be found. 

When Al Jazeera's license was revoked, depriving them from the rights to operate and report in Egypt, the channel broad casted a 'special report' titled: "Corrupt Institutes in Egypt". This was being broadcasted on the day protesters decided to organize the 'one million march'. Funny how they keep fueling people's anger during a time of political instability. Of all the times they could've aired that report, they chose a day which was a make or break for many Egyptians. This is coming from a broadcast station that mocked national state TV for trying to calm people down and instill a sense of peace. I am not defending national state tv for their attempts to control people's fears over the last week. I am just saying that each media entity has their own agenda. Consider the source of information to get a better picture and a better understanding of their political standpoint. 

That's attempt one to blog, hoping the rest are as successful..if this one was. 

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