Posted by: r.m. | September 24, 2009

G20 and Al Jazeera

While Al Jazeera arabic interviews talking heads about the UN General Assembly meetings from NY — particularly Netanyahu’s (ridiculous, infuriating, afactual) speech at the UN,  Al Jazeera english (aka Al Jazeera International) covers the G20 summit in Pittsburgh (Pennsylania) — talking to one reporter covering the summit and another reporter covering the protests.

The Al Jazeera english reporter — Avi Lewis — was excellent in covering the protest.  He said:

“anarchists smashed not a single window”
“police using $19 million of new gear purchased for the summit.”
While earlier the promise had been ‘an open summit’ – all protests were declared illegal.
“the anger is an attempt to change the narrataive.”
“demonstration tomorrow called ‘bail out the people’.
“people in the global south and the marginalized communities in this richest country of the world…”
“a demonstration of support for people who know that the recession isn’t over” “new toys, new chemicals used in each and every demonstration… today they dispersed the crowd with a wall of sound – creating an intense sonic blast. .. a very graphic juxtaposition: the power protecting the system and the people protesting the power.”
Excellent report by Avi Lewis! Furthermore, Al Jazeera english gave equal time to ‘inside’ the summit as to ‘outside’ the summit. Imagine: such a report on *any* US mainstream tv.
Al Jazeera arabic’s coverage of the G20 summit was disappointing, by comparison.
Al Jazeera arabic’s coverage of the G20 summit focused much more on ‘inside’ the summit itself.  The coverage of the protests outside the summit did not include *any information* on police brutality, rather the police were merely referred to as ‘riot police.’ No mention of the new weapons and techniques used by those ‘riot police’.  How wonderful if Al Jazeera arabic had the same coverage of the protest as Al Jazeera english reporter had presented.
Why the difference in coverage?

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