Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Whole World's Watching

On the night before a demonstration which might exceed a million participants, the Egyptian Army promised its people that Tahrir, or Liberation, Square, would not resemble the 1989 massacre in China's Tiananmen Square... And the besieged government of Hosni Mubarak shut down the nation's cell phone networks just like its previous clampdown on Internet service providers.

Bucking the trend toward exiting the country, American TV networks sent more resources and air talent in... It's known as "big-footing."

Although its name literally means "island," many Westerners think of Al-Jazeera being more like the flame suggested by its on-screen logo of Arabic calligraphy... Heating the audience it reaches in the Islamic world with the unfiltered rhetoric Of Al-Qaeda and a reporting style the staid New York Times described as "manic," with a "heavy emphasis on Arab suffering and political crisis."

Al-Jazeera's pervasive presence in the Middle East has enabled it to provide the deepest reporting and most immediate video images of events in Egypt. And as events unfold in Cairo, the profile in the U.S. of Al-Jazeera English has risen as a result. Cable news outlets are using Al-Jazeera English feeds from the Mid-East, and relying on their Western-based, but native-born, Arab reporters as commentators.
The Revolution is being Televised
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 1/31/11,
Host Michele Norris with NPR's David Folkenflik
Just as many in the Arab street think US manipulations are behind everything, Arab intellectuals in the West often see Mubarak as arch-conspirator. One blames him for Egypt's recent mass prison escapes.

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