March 7, 2011

Al Jazeera on Clinton's Information War

Here's an "Inside Story" episode on Clinton's remarks first aired on Al Jazeera on March 5.

Although a great discussion, it is somewhat frustrating to hear the guests discussing Clinton's "confusion" of international and domestic media, while her testimony was aimed precisely at that: convincing the Congressmen of the need to keep the financing of foreign broadcasting, because the American domestic media, and more importantly, because its pop culture (remember the Afghan General story?) cannot do the all-important job of public diplomacy...

Strongly recommend watching through it all!

1 comment:

  1. Love it, love it, love it, Hillary, you go girl! I've been oding some research on Al Jazeera for another class this semester, and I have to say that I agree 100 percent with Clinton--I am so pleased at her frank parole on the news value and credibility that Al Jazeera has established. I mean, where did anyone go to get good news on Tunisia or Egypt over the last few months? Al Jazeera, of course! The station has embraced basic values about good credible journalism and has built its reputation on it.

    What I don't like in this speech is the idea that we are fighting an "information war"--I just don't like the war analogies. I didn't like them in Walter Isaacson's speech that we read for class either--he gave lip service to credibility, but his speech was peppered with war analogiges as well like "We're going to win this war," or "we're in the fight," or "we'll triumph." The Value of what Al Jazeera is that unlike USG PD initiatives, it isn't funded only during wartime--it's continuous, quality reporting, shows a wide range of provocative perspectives, and wht you get is what I'd call a really good balance and variety of perspectives on current issues. I wish we could take AJ and use it as a model for our international IB. Heck, let's just declare the Smith-Mundt Act null and void and get the USG to give us AJ-like coverage so we don't have to watch CNN and wade through the commercials. If it ever happens, I will be the first to stand up and say El Hammdullilay!