Is Al Jazeera the one good TV station?
When you turn on the evening news, are you actually hoping to learn something?
A new study suggests that viewers worldwide turn to particular broadcasters to affirm — rather than inform — their opinions. It's a notion familiar to those dismayed by the paths blazed by cable news networks FOX and MSNBC — although the study finds one (perhaps unlikely) network may actually foster greater intellectual openness.
The study in the December issue of Media, War & Conflict by Shawn Powers, a fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, and Mohammed el-Nawawy, an assistant professor in the department of communication at Queens University of Charlotte, found that the longer viewers had been watching Al Jazeera English, the less dogmatic they were in their opinions and therefore more open to considering alternative and clashing opinions.
Al Jazeera English is a global news network that "aims to give voice to untold stories, promote debate, and challenge established perceptions." Launched on Nov. 15, 2006, the network is accessible to more than 120 million households worldwide; it is currently available on only a handful of satellite networks in the United States.