Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Al Jazeera & The Stream

When Sept. 11, 2001 occurred, I was in middle school (wow). I remember hearing about Al Jazeera for the first time, being mentioned on the news. The news reported terrorist videos or news that were reported by Al Jazeera--as if they were the only credible source for terrorist activity--which made me think that it WAS the terrorist news network! I wonder how many Americans thought this too?

That idea completely changed when I finally started watching Al Jazeera English. It's actually just a neutral news channel that simply reports the news. No opinion, no focus on particular subjects, just news after news all over the world. It doesn't even have a Muslim feel to it, as there are a variety of people involved in the show. So why isn't this broadcasted on most American cable? Fortunately you can change that by demanding it from your cable provider.

The best part about Al Jazeera is the Stream. It's a social media and community-driven discussion about particular subjects (such as the prison-industrial-complex or Syria), where they invite experts with different backgrounds and opinions. You can tweet your opinion with the hashtag #AJstream, which can be re-tweeted by @AJStream (and seen by 34k+ followers), or be read aloud by one of the hosts on the show! It definitely feels like you are really involved with the conversation. Your opinion is heard by people all over the world. You could even post comments on their Facebook page or record a video to express your opinion, which can also be shared on the show. Unfortunately the show comes on around noon Pacific Time, so most working Americans wouldn't be able to watch it live.

Even if you aren't able to watch it live, you can always put in your two cents to the contributors via Twitter, or Pinterest, or read and watch the conversation on the episode pages of particular events. There is always a myriad of information and opinions to fuel your thoughts!

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