It is heartening to read about Al Jazeera International, the global version of the Arab satellite news channel. It is heartening because, as an Asian whow’s more at home in English living in Asia I am sick of what the rest of the international news organizations have to offer.
CNN covers Asia mostly when terrorism or Americans are involved, otherwise its about israel and the Arabs killing each other. BBC is Eurocentric and Middle-East-centric. Both espouse a rather Western Liberal point of view.
The FEER is dead as a serious paper. It has been dead for some time but it still hasn’t realised that its sould has left its body, so it still walks around thinking it’s God’s intellectual gift to Asia. The Wall Strreet Journal I stopped reading because it gets more irrelevant by the day. (see earlier gripes on this posting: Where have all the good reads gone?). Most of their news selection is very mainstream. The International Herald Tribune is the paper only worth reading these days. Which isn’t saying much.
As an Asian too, I keep wondering what is wrong with us Asians to be so unrepresentative in English media. Are Asians so stupid that most of the correspondents for these international organizations have to hire Westerners to do the job in our own turf?
So its great to hear Al Jezeera saying that it will be a champion of forgotten causes (hey, it’s like some blogs); a news organization willing to risk being controversial; hire Asian reporters to cover Asia and will have Africans talking about Africa.
if Al Jazeera suceeds with this then its the end of many careers for senior reporters in CNN and BBC who double up as “instant experts [who] land there and tell us a story.”