This is a post from my draft folder. Some ideas may be underdeveloped.
March 16, 2011
As someone who's interested in journalism and public discourse, it surprised many when I got annoyed at the public for overcelebrating Aljazeera's involvement in Arab revolutions.
Because the idea of journalism isn't fully developed in the Arab world, people have undeservingly celebrated Aljazeera even as it does 75% of it's job.
The fact that no news organization in the Arab world is actually doing it's job completely makes Aljazeera the one-eyed king of the blind.
The idea of free journalism is one of the tenants of free society. Journalists brings facts to the table, not commentary, not judgements (atleast not explicitly).
What Aljazeera did in Egypt, although it was a valuable role, was not the role of free news media. It was propaganda plain and simple. Propaganda most of us liked but propaganda nonetheless.
Then again the problem is probably mine. I need to manage my expectations. It's unreasonable to expect credible journalism from an institution funded by an autocratic government.
I think Aljazeera's credibility as a news organization will be tested over and over again throughout this wave of Arab turmoil.