I remember vividly the morning of March 11- not that impressive given that it was about a week ago. I was up very late for whatever reason, and looking at YouTube briefly, I noticed footage from a 8.9 earthquake that had just hit Japan. The footage came from Al Jazeera.
I then logged onto Facebook to see if anyone had posted some headlines. There were at least ten posts- evidently my friends share my same bizarre sleeping habits. Anyway, all the links posted were from Al Jazeera.
I immediately began following Al Jazeera English on Twitter and likewise became a fan of it on Facebook. Needless to say, the coverage soon spread to other news networks, and footage from both the tsunami and earthquake were seen everywhere.
Yet, I still keep going back to Al Jazeera- primarily through their YouTube channel– for that raw footage. Seeing that wave of mud was startling, yet the narration was very stoic and professional. Given the little time it took for Al Jazeera to produce these segments, I was incredibly impressed. To this day, that original five minute video I first watched on March 11, has over 5 million views.
Since the initial quake and tsunami, Al Jazeera has also provided footage on the nuclear explosions, in which I found to be very insightful. It is my hope, that because of this coverage, Americans will begin to put aside their prejudices against Al Jazeera and recognize it for the news organization that it is. In all honesty, it reminds me of CNN or the BBC. I find it very middle of the road and factual. Perhaps if the globe can take away anything from these natural disasters, it would be that excellent reporting can be from the people we normally would not turn to. Perhaps Americans can finally overlook the misconceptions and mischaracterizations they previously had against Al Jazeera. I feel that it would greatly benefit them.