Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How Do Foreign Outlets Cover Elections?

Matt Digby

Al Jazeera is an Arabic-language television station formed in 1996. Based in Qatar, whose Emir was instrumental in the station's creation, it provides Middle Eastern news and public affairs to the world through multiple platforms. Al Jazeera English began broadcasting in 2006, and like the original station, is available worldwide.

One of the videos currently on the Al Jazeera English website shows the key moments of President Obama's first four years in office. I think it's a good move to have that story on the front page of the site because even though most AJE viewers are not American, and therefore won't be voting in the election, the video provides facts instead of trying to pass judgment on the President.

One of the more recent articles talks about the man who will give the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro. The story is titled "Could Julian Castro be 'the next Obama?'" which refers to Obama coming to prominence in 2004 when he gave the keynote at that year's DNC, en route to being elected to the U.S. Senate. Again, AJE made a smart move posting this because of the possibility that Castro really could become a household name in the next few years, depending on how his speech goes.

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, seen here with his twin Joaquin, will give the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Photo Courtesy of AFP.
Do you plan on following any foreign news outlets during this election, either AJ or another station? What do you think are the big advantages/disadvantages for how a foreign outlet reports on an election, and how it's received by its audience? Let me know what you think!

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