Is Al-Jazeera’s popularity waning in favour of the Saudi backed station Al-Arabiya? Ahmad Humeid notes an interesting trend that may not bode well for the station best known for making Bin Laden a media whore.
From my talks to friends, people also seem to be frustrated by Al Jazeeraâ€™s portrayal of the Arab situation. My personal interpretation of this is that Al Jazeeraâ€™s â€˜brandâ€™ is, at least partially starting to stands for â€˜bad newsâ€™, anger, overt controversy and/or sensationalism.
Personally, I got really sick with Al Jazeera a few years ago, when they aired â€˜Minbar Al Jazeeraâ€™ (Al Jazeera Forum), which is a viewer call-in program. People that go by names like â€˜Abu Akram from Swedenâ€™ call in with opinions that are just so extreme and mindless, like one guy suggesting a plan to destroy Israel by hiring Sri Lankan mercenaries (!) that would pump diesel into lake Tiberias and start a thousand fires across Israeli cities!
Heh, you gotta love the crazed imagination of some people eh? But Ahmad’s musings are backed by stats taken from the USC Center on Public Diplomacy.
In a monthly charting of audience ratings prepared exclusively for Worldcasting by the premier independent Middle East television survey organization IPSOS-STAT, the Saudi government-financed Al-Arabiya surpassed Al Jazeera in audience viewer rankings for the first time in the history of the two channels.
Is that good or bad? Maybe Arab TV is ripe for dumbing down. Enter the BBC…
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