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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Don't you just  love Arabic Calligraphy as an art form

Once again, I have tried to get TV access to the Aljazeera (English) broadcasts. Again I have been frustrated.  I recently signed up for satellite TV connection with Shaw Communication. I phoned them and said I would be interested in getting Aljazzera and I would be willing to pay extra if it could not just be added to my package.  I was informed they did not offer Aljazeera.. I mentioned I had just  looked at the Aljazeera website where they listed where is was available. It indicated it was available on Shaw and Rogers in Canada.  This is true but only on cable. Well cable is not available for me.

Over the past few years, I have spoken to several TV providers to see if I could get Aljazeera in one of their  packages. I even suggested they might get rid of one of the American cable news providers, say Fox News, and replace it with Aljazeera.  They would not even discuss this. They just rhymed off what was included in each package. Aljazeera was only available for an extra charge.  I resisted paying an extra charge when I think this first class, award winning, news channel should be as available on the same bases as the BBC, CBC, ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) and others.  It has been a lonely battle for me. I have not even been able to get Lynne to see if she could get it included in her  extensive package with Rogers. Now, when I finally decided I would pay extra for it, I find out it is not available on satellite  with Shaw.

Why do I want Aljazeera?  I am a news junkie.  I like to read and listen to many news sources to better understand what is going on in the World.  I have read the Aljazeera website and even listened to Aljazeera broadcasts through the site.  I find it full of wonder programming, accurate, fair extensive,  in depth.  I think it is an equal with the BBC.  Aljazzera English is recognized by those in the know as being a first rate source of news. They have a widely diverse reporting staff  included many Canadian journalists who are on the ground in many countries that few if any Western news organizations have foreign correspondence . This has been an area that news organizations have been cutting back on, relying instead on a few new sources, like Reuters, to supply news content.

Tony Burman an outstanding and widely experienced news person was a key person with Aljazeera for several years and even now, while he is teaching journalism. he has a role with the news network.
He recently wrote about Aljazeera's effort to get well established in the American market. CBC  Washington Correspondent, Neil MacDonald also wrote well on Aljazeera wider entry into the US market


During the Arab Spring I understand the Obama administration watched  Aljazeera for the news.  Hilary Clinton even went to Qatar to assure Aljazeera that the US saw it as part of the solution in the middle east.. The state of American news programming is dismal  with too much fluff news and "headline news" with little in depth analysis. And there their is Fox News which should not be taken seriously. It is best viewed as faux news. 

Recently, Aljazeera has purchased Al Gore's Current News network in order to gain access to more of the American market, by establishing Aljazeera America.  Right away it is being attacked my cable news organizations with whom it would compete.  On late night TV talk shows a lot of cheap humour is used to belittle it or even frighten people.  I enjoy these jokes but I know how ridiculous these jokes are,. which is what makes them funny, but a lot of people I think they take a lot of the comments as true. Such that Aljazzera is anti-American, pro Arab  or even pro terrorist or that the broadcast will be in Arabic. Aljazeera has a public relations problem in the US and the US has an information deficit concerning the nature of Aljazeera as a respectable and credible news source. Both Canada and the United States would be well served to have easy and widespread access to this news channel.  Let hope we do in the near future.

7 Comments:

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Hmmm, I have probably had the wrong idea about AJ. For some reason, I thought it was in cahoots with terrorism. I guess not.

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger KGMom said...

Likewise, we do not have Al Jazeera on our cable. But I do read the news on its website, and find it to be one of the more balanced news sources.

 
At 4:27 PM, Blogger Ginnie said...

I thoroughly agree with your assessment of Fox "news" ... to call it news broadcasting is a joke but not funny ... too many people take it for gospel.

 
At 7:29 AM, Blogger troutbirder said...

Setting aside the J issue "the dismal state of American television" is exactly right. "Fluff" is the problem and its one of several reasons why I don't watch it very often...

 
At 5:19 PM, Blogger Owen Gray said...

Tony Burman -- ex head of CBC television news and the student newspaper where I went to university -- is an excellent journalist, Philip.

That should recommend Aljazeera to Shaw and Rogers.

 
At 9:09 AM, Blogger possum said...

I get alJazeera on my computer. Can't you do that, Philip?

 
At 12:19 PM, Blogger Ien in the Kootenays said...

Thanks for reminding me to seek it out on the computer more often. We had it as a sample for a while, but it would cost extra to include it on the cable package. My DH is the one managing the cable choice, I spend more time on the net than in front of TV.

 

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