Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Biased Against Al Jazeera?

Probably Not... If You Think You're Watching CNN

Ph.D candidates in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor conducted a study which proves Americans don’t see Al Jazeera English as biased. That is, as long as they don’t know what they’re watching.

Study participants who watched a test segment of AJE news coverage branded with a CNN International logo found it to be fair... People watching the same clip correctly labeled as Al Jazeera were more likely to conclude the story was biased.

“The findings that show differential bias ratings between AJE and CNNI based on the same exact news clip suggest Americans are, on average, still unable to fairly evaluate the station,” concluded William Youmans & Katie Brown.

And that's a shame, because it an era of American network austerity, no one has been better positioned to respond to this year's Arabian "awakenings," or pro-democracy uprisings, than Al Jazeera.

Ayman Mohyeldin says the American cable companies that refuse to carry Al Jazeera help contribute to misunderstanding the Middle East.

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