Sunday, March 11, 2012

Al Jazeera English

I'm very sorry it's been a month since I last posted, as I know everyone's been dying for an update. Or at least that's what my mom tells me.

I started interning a few weeks ago at the Cairo bureau of Al Jazeera English, the international news channel headquartered in Qatar. Most people associate the station with Al Jazeera, the Arabic-language station that inspired its English counterpart. But AJE, which launched in 2006, is editorially separate from the Arabic channel and has become widely popular across the world—although it has so far failed to penetrate the American market in any significant way. Think of it as a kind of alternative to the BBC or CNN International; in fact, it beat out the former this year to win a prestigious British broadcasting award. Some have accused it of an anti-American bias, although it also receives plenty of criticism for harboring a pro-American slant. Watch for yourself for free online or on Comcast in the D.C. area.

The channel received accolades last year for its comprehensive coverage of the Arab Spring, and the Cairo bureau in particular was praised for its reporting on the uprising that toppled Mubarak. I'm honored to have the chance to learn from such talented journalists, and already they've taught me a lot about a medium I'm not as familiar with: TV.

On my first day, I was lucky enough to help out on a shoot about the revolutionary graffiti that lines the walls of a famous street near Tahrir Square, Mohamed Mahmoud Street. The road has played host to a series of clashes over the past few months, but in recent weeks it has gained fame mainly for its spectacular street art. It was also the address of CASA before we left the downtown area.

Check out the finished report here. Either of the artists' English voiceovers sound familiar?

(If you can't see the video, click here.)

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