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AUDIO/VIDEO: French jets strike Libya - Al Jazeera and the rise of non-Western global media

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Pacific Media Centre

20 March, 2011

Radio New Zealand's Mediawatch team looks at the media's coverage of the threefold disaster in Japan and examines the progress of al Jazeera into mainstream acceptance while questioning its effectiveness into domestic coverage of civil unrest. (Duration: 33′25″)

Jeremy Rose presents the al Jazeera segment, which compares this non-Western television network based in Qatar with its Western rivals in covering Libya and the Middle East upheavals.

Mark Seddon, writing in The National in an article headlined "Led by Al Jazeera, Arabic media come of age covering revolutions", says:

"For Al Jazeera, which launched its English channel in 2005 with a particular eye on breaching the seemingly impenetrable wall of American parochialism, the turmoil across the region is finally making the channel be noticed in North America. A Doha-based spokesman for the channel told me: 'It's been astounding the amount of positive recognition that we've been receiving in the US from journalists at mainstream outlets such as The New York Times, ABC News, MSNBC and others. We launched full-page ads in The New York Times and The Washington Post as well as an online campaign across the US. A large share of our internet viewing now comes from the US.' This is an astonishing turnaround from the early days of Al Jazeera during the Bush administration."

Al Jazeera clip, 19 March 2011:
Battle for Libya - French warplanes strike Libyan city

International forces have begun military operations in Libya, with French fighter jets taking out several tanks operated by pro-government forces, while over 100 US Tomahawk cruise missiles struck at air defence sites.

The US is taking the lead in the first phase of operations, but says it will be handing over control to coalition partners "in the coming days".

The action comes after world leaders concluded a summit in Paris to discuss the modalities of international action on Libya, as authorised by UN resolution 1973.

Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland reports from Paris.

Mediawatch audio on Radio NZ
Libyan News on YouTube AlJazeeraEnglish


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