The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Breaking news and the Al Jazeera difference

It is fascinating to follow the news in Egypt and the growing sense that some kind of shift is occurring.  What is particularly fascinating though is the difference in news coverages from the American and British networks compared to Al Jazeera. 


Al Jazeera has been my go –to source over the last few days and that is for one simple reason.  They are more up to date and reflect what is actually happening on the ground in Tahrir Square and in Alexandria.

News is an interesting topic and many armchair ‘internet experts’ react to news as if it is one uniform homogenous thing.

In fact news is like a pyramid of stages such as breaking news, estimates of next events, background related events, political reactions, and finally analysis and likely outcomes.

What matters with events such as #egypt is first and foremost breaking news.  For example earlier today military jets and helicopters buzzed Tahrir Square in Cairo.  This occurred sometime between dawn and noon local time, or 2am and 9am EST.  The LA Times sent me their breaking news email on the jets buzz over at 12:41pm EST.  This is hardly breaking news.  The American networks in particular see all news through the lens of American reaction.  First let us get the facts straight so that the political reaction can be placed in proper context.


It is high time that North America got over the fact that Al Jazeera is somehow reflecting Arab and anti west sentiment.  They just do a really good job of reporting on the ground in Egypt, and from their offices in London, and Doha.  In fact the Doha office includes regular commentary from the local Brookings Institute representative Shadi Hamid.

Anyhow the Al Jazeera approach to news with a focus on reflecting what is actually occurring is something that is welcome and useful to news hounds everywhere.

Written by Colin Henderson

January 30, 2011 at 13:49

Posted in Uncategorized

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