January 24, 2009
Al-Jazeera coverage of Gaza widely watched
01.24.2009 | BaltimoreSun.com
By Sun news service
DOHA, Qatar American viewership of Al-Jazeera English rose drastically during the Israel-Hamas war, partly because the channel had what other networks didn’t: reporters inside Gaza. The station streamed video of Israel’s offensive against Hamas on the Internet and took advantage of online media such as the microblogging Web site Twitter to provide real-time updates. During the 22-day conflict that ended last weekend, the station’s Web video stream saw a 600 percent jump in worldwide viewership – and about 60 percent of those hits came from the U.S., according to the station’s internal numbers. Traffic to Al-Jazeera’s main Web page spiked once Israeli airstrikes began Dec. 27, according to Amazon.com’s Alexa Web tracking site.
‘Al-Jazeera English’ is censored in US
01.12.2009 | philipweiss.org
My friend James North was just in Central America. Watched Al-Jazeera English all the time. It is stunning, he says, because the coverage is so professional and sophisticated. The panels aren't loaded the moderators are smart. (Though I pity anyone who has to cross swords with the amazing Shihab Rattansi; some day this guy will be on "60 Minutes"). And of course Al Jazeera is in Gaza. Few others are. Shouldn't Americans be exposed to this? Well, no.
It is astonishing that this superb piece on [US TV censorship/ban of Al Jazeera]… by Noam Cohen in today's Times [“Few in U.S. See Jazeera’s Coverage of Gaza War,” January 12, 2009] appeared deep in the Business section, on page B7. It should have been on the front page. It is about censorship. Also note Cohen's reference to "public calls" for Burlington Telecom to drop Al-Jazeera. This is a nicety. Noam, I love you (we're old friends), but pal this is a euphemism. It was Jewish groups. The longer journalists prevaricate about describing the coordinated campaigns against independent journalists by pro-Israel groups, the longer those campaigns will continue to be effective. (And why are they effective? Because they're our sisters and our cousins and our aunts! I saw my old friend Morris Renek, an accomplished novelist, at a CAMERA event. Didn't have the guts to say, Morris what are you doing here? I knew what he was doing there.) Speak, Cohen:
The network is largely unavailable in the United States, carried
only by cable providers in Burlington, Vt.; Toledo, Ohio; and
Washington, D.C. (In Burlington, the local government last summer
rejected public calls for the city-owned cable provider, Burlington
Telecom, to drop the channel.)
By contrast, Al Jazeera’s English-language service can be seen in over 100 countries via cable and satellite, according to Molly Conroy, a spokeswoman for the network
Recognizing that its material from Gaza will have
influence in the United States only if it is highly accessible online,
Al Jazeera has aggressively experimented with using the Internet to
distribute the information it has gathered.
Few in U.S. See Jazeera’s Coverage of Gaza War
01.12.2009 | NYtimes.com
By Noam Cohen
…Ayman Mohyeldin, a former CNN producer, can be seen with a helmet and flak jacket answering questions from an anchor back in the studio in Doha, Qatar, describing the Israeli bombing and ground campaign in Gaza…
In a conflict where the Western news media have been largely prevented from reporting from Gaza because of restrictions imposed by the Israeli military, Al Jazeera has had a distinct advantage. It was already there.
There are six reporters in Gaza, two working for Al Jazeera English and four working for the much larger and more popular Arabic version of the network… Al Jazeera describes itself on the air as “the only international broadcaster with a presence there.”
…While getting to the story has not been an insurmountable problem for Al Jazeera English’s journalists — they are, in effect, surrounded by it — getting their reports to the English-speaking public has been a bit trickier. The network is largely unavailable in the United States, carried only by cable providers in Burlington, Vt.; Toledo, Ohio; and Washington, D.C. (In Burlington, the local government last summer rejected public calls for the city-owned cable provider, Burlington Telecom, to drop the channel.)
By contrast, Al Jazeera’s English-language service can be seen in over 100 countries via cable and satellite, according to Molly Conroy, a spokeswoman for the network in Washington.
Recognizing that its material from Gaza will have influence in the United States only if it is highly accessible online, Al Jazeera has aggressively experimented with using the Internet to distribute the information it has gathered….
Americans Sympathetic Toward Israel on Gaza in Poll (Update1)
01.14.2009 | Bloomberg.com
By Viola Gienger
Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) — A majority of Americans sympathized more with the Israelis than the Palestinians during the recent war in the Gaza Strip, according to a CNN opinion poll that points to a divergence from European views of the conflict.
Sixty percent of Americans in the nationwide survey said they were sympathetic toward the Israelis, compared with 17 percent who supported the Palestinians, CNN reported today on its Web site. A recent European poll showed that 23 percent of French people said the Palestinian Hamas group was primarily responsible for the war while 18 percent mainly blamed Israel.
The results indicate Israel successfully communicated in the U.S. its view that it had to defend itself against rocket attacks from the militant Hamas organization that controls Gaza and is considered a terrorist group by the U.S. and European Union. More than 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis died in the 22-day war.
The CNN poll showed that 63 percent of Americans felt Israel was justified in taking military action, compared with 30 percent who disagreed. The poll of 1,245 adults was conducted Jan. 12-15, before the Israeli military campaign ended in a cease-fire on Jan. 17. Conducted by Opinion Research Corp., it had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The findings largely echo those of a poll conducted by the Washington-based Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, which reported that American sympathy with Israel was unchanged since its military campaign began with an aerial assault on Dec. 27.
Sympathy for Israel exceeded that for the Palestinians by a margin of 49 percent to 11 percent, according to the Pew poll. The results narrowed when respondents were questioned on Israel’s military action in Gaza, with 40 percent approving and 33 percent disapproving.
The Pew poll surveyed 1,503 adults Jan. 7-11, with a margin of error at plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The French poll, conducted by CSA, found that 28 percent of respondents blamed Israel and Hamas equally. That telephone survey questioned a representative nationwide sample of 958 people on Jan. 7-8. CSA didn’t report a margin of error on its Web site.
To contact the reporter on this story: Viola Gienger in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org.