More and more people around the world turn to TV for their news in times of crisis. And it’s into this chatter of hype and opinion and exclusives that Al Jazeera has beamed itself. The Arabic language station has made headlines of its own with Bin laden tapes, and live reports from Afghanistan and Ramallah.
Now, in preparation for a war in Iraq, Al Jazeera is pumping up its Washington bureau, ready to push its provocative motto. “The Opinion and The Other Opinion”. Americans, Israelis and others regard Al Jazeera with suspicion, but even as a voice of the Arab world, the new satellite station is under pressure from Arab governments, which find its journalism a bit too pointed.
Like it or not, respect it or not, Al Jazeera will have a major role in the months ahead.
Hafez Al-Mirazi, Washington bureau chief, Al Jazeera Television
John R. MacArthur, publisher, Harper’s Magazine