Friday, April 04, 2008

Take This Hijab and Shove it: An American Anchor Quits Al Jazeera 
Dave Marash, an American who became an anchorman for Al Jazeera, explains why he left.

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That article was in the Columbia Journalism Review??? Holy shit, the English was atrocious! Don't they have proof-readers? I was having a hard time comprehending some of the questions and answers until I realized it there seemed to be a lot of words missing
Well, in fairness, it's a transcribed oral interview. You're going to get some retracement, parenthetical phrases, and elliptical constructions you wouldn't write down.

Personally, if I read a transcript of an interview or conversation, I don't trust it if it's too clean.
Frankly, what surprises me about it is its apparently objective and honest reporting. Wasn't it the CJR that a couple of years had the editor of The Nation take over as its editor, but failed to notify (concealed) this from the outside world?

I expect so little of the CJR that unless I'm pointed to it by a trusted source (Jason, in this case)I don't even consider it worth following.

But, one swallow doesn't make a spring or something like that. I mean I can wait until a trend develops before I bother with it again.

Keep up your blogging, I get a job I'll send you some dough.
The unintentional irony in that interview was unbelievably thick. If AJE has slipped its moorings so badly, then why should I believe that the rest of the operation is run differently? And American media shelters us from the rest of the world's opprobrium? He sounds like he has a bridge to sell me.

All of these criticisms could have been leveled at the American media as well, and they would be equally valid. The shoddy questions, the suspect motives, the inability to follow up, and the shallow results.

I'm sorry, but Dave Marash is pretty much a tool in my book, although a tool that wised up a bit.
There's a guy at CJR that's been emailing story pitches to me, lately, and they've all been good. Someone over there is finally getting sympathetic to the notion that coverage of military affairs is bad.

Al Jazeera is a different animal. I never worried too much about them. Of COURSE their coverage will reflect the biases of their employees. I wouldn't expect anything different. If their employees are overwhelmingly Arab, the editorial will reflect their biases, myths, superstitions, loves and hatreds - just as surely as the NY and LA-based media reflects the assumptions of those demographics.

That's natural and while to be resisted by sharp editors, a certain amount of it is to be expected because everyone is human.

What gets me is when media types try to deny that such a bias exists. You can't fight it, you can't mitigate it, if you're trying to deny it.
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