Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Al Jazeera plans bureau in Chicago

Great news: A major news organization is expanding and plans to open a new news bureau in Chicago. The not-so-great news is that it is Al Jazeera English. As American media companies pull back, foreign ones like the Qatar-owned Al Jazeera are expanding.

Actually, it is good news all around. Al Jazeera English has long been one of the world's better news sites. Its coverage was invaluable during the Arab Spring revolutions earlier this year. I got in the habit of checking it daily when we got so heavily involved in the Iraq war, finding al Jazeera's coverage a breath of fresh air since American news media was so heavily compromised in its war coverage -- a coverage that's almost nonexistent today. If you want to know what's going on in Iraq, unfortunately, you need to look overseas for coverage.

John Hendren, former White House correspondent for ABC, said in an al Jazeera release saying he'll be in charge of the bureau that Chicago reporting will give viewers a "deeper picture of movements and sentiments in the U.S." Now maybe we could get our own networks to look at "movements and sentiments," instead of yet another story about a political candidate whose star is a) rising or b) plummeting.

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