Tag Archives: Al-Jazeera

Al Jazeera’s big audience in Oregon and Vermont–and more fascinating media facts

Who’s tuning into the New York Times? To the Onion? To FOX, or MSNBC? Forbes worked with Bitly to dissect where media audiences reside for many major news outlets. And since we now have such disparity of perspective and political leaning, this media map says an awful lot about the orientation of the media audience in each state.

There are some surprises and some expected results: FOX News is particularly strong in Mississippi and Alabama, no surprise. But North Dakotan’s appear to love MSNBC–surprises me. My own state of Washington loves the New York Times (no great surprise) but it also appears to provide the biggest audience (online anyway) for the Wall Street Journal. Not only do North Dakotans love MSNBC, it seems they are fans of The Onion as well, as much as Wisconsin.

While Oregon and Vermont light up the screen for Al Jazeera, its interesting to see that Alaska, Washington, New Mexico and Texas also have an affinity for the channel. May have to do with military presence, at least in Texas and Washington. Don’t recall any big Army bases in Oregon and Vermont, however.

Secretary of state lauds Al-Jazeera, rips US media

Youch. If I was sitting in the chair heading cable or network news programming, I’d be a little unsettled after hearing what Sec of State Hilary Clinton just said about me.

The AP article is worth the read, but here is the relevant quotation:

“Like it or hate it, it [Al Jazeera] is really effective,” Clinton said. “In fact, viewership of Al-Jazeera is going up in the United States because it is real news.”

“You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news that is not providing information to us, let alone foreigners.”

Fox News president Michael Clemente appears puzzled. He said he found her remarks “curious.” Maybe some of Fox News’s problems is they’re not hiring the sharpest tools in the shed to run things. Nothing curious about it. She’s saying it like it is. The other networks and channels, perhaps wisely, are reserving comment.

However, former reporter Frank Sesno, is much more outspoken, to the point, and in my opinion right on when he says:

“She’s right,” said Sesno, who is now director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University.

“Cable news has become cable noise. It was intended to be an opportunity to inform people, and instead it has become an opportunity to inflame people.”

I like that quotation a lot. The opportunity to inform has given over to the temptation to inflame.

There is some very intriguing irony here. Al Jazeera, seen as a propaganda organ for the Arab (translate in many minds: terrorist) world is praised for its news quality. It is the propagandists who are supposed to inflame, not inform. But, we have CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN and FOX all dedicated to informing, right? That’s why we’ve been treated to a non-stop display of a pathetic crumbling star fighting for a few bucks taking up all our air space while in Libya, Yemen, Egypt and Bahrain the world is erupting. It is a sad commentary on the state of our media, an even sadder one on the state of our American minds.