I was surprised at Al Jazeera’s coverage of “Israel at 60”. While Al Jazeera often linked with terrorism by the Bush Administration (according to Al Jazeera and the British newspaper the Daily Mirror) they usually don’t get any cred for good reporting or interesting perspectives. Their three part series on Israel at 60 is not the standard fair I saw at CMU which was a lot of stuff about Israeli culture and free food and “never forget”. Al Jazeera is more negative, their story-arch emphasizes faulty assumptions of historical Zionism (“Zionist mythology has propagated the idea that Palestine was a barren and scarcely inhabited land. But that was far from true. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had lived for centuries in the land that Jews were now laying claim to”) and the plight of the Palestinians.
Same image, different coloring.
What is fascinating is how this story-arch feels so different from others found on Israel’s 60th B-Day. It has many of the same threads–worries about Israeli Arabs, interest in the movement from the socialist kibbutz system to modern capitalism, questions about Israel’s identity–but the coloring of those threads (the tone of the piece) changes the effect utterly.
Al Jazeera’s English edition is not always beautifully written (like the New York Times) or neutrally written (like the Economist tries to be) but it is surely one of the most interesting news sites on the web because of its solid writing and reporting perspective.
Today, Malcolm’s online reporting and many others’ like it do offer such information sooner — perhaps even too much of it. He is operating in a whole new world in which deadlines are minute-by-minute; reader comment is swift and often severe; and the tools range from audio and video to BlackBerrys and laptops.
It is ’round the clock — it’s demanding,” says Malcolm, 64. Not only is the process of delivering political news via blogs a lot faster than traditional models, “it is a lot more unpredictable,” he adds.
Andrew Malcolm on blogging