Fair and Balanced: Al Jazeera News

Michael Allison
2 min readFeb 17, 2017

Around summer of 2006, I was in Cairo assisting in plans for combined military exercises. In my down time, besides exploring the backstreets of Cairo, I would lounge in my room and watch TV. I watched Al Jazeera, mostly to improve my shoddy Arabic. One day, I walked in and turned on a documentary in progress. It was about the Holocaust and NAZI atrocities committed in Eastern Europe during World War II / the Great Patriotic War.

The first surprise was the video footage. Most of this I had never seen before. It was gripping. Along with that were still images — again which seemed new to me, and I am a long amateur historian of WWII. As I sat back, the second surprise, to me — which I hope does not sound narrow minded — was that this was on an Arabic, Arab, news network. It was a great documentary tracking the tragedy of the time. I do not remember any typecasting or apologizing, just good history, sympathetic to the victims of the Holocaust.

I do not remember the details of that documentary, but Al Jazeera is where you might find a report by an Indian political scientist — Irfan Ahmad — writing a memorial to a great Polish, Jewish, sociologist Zygmunt Bauman.

During the Kosovo conflict, I liked to watch BBC America because it presented both sides so evenly. In this day, with accusations of Fake News and, perhaps, some overzealous Real News from all sides, I feel the need to get some perspective from sources that are not directly involved in US politics. Not Trump friendly, but not Trump bashing, either. For example, in the wake of the Muslim Ban, Al Jazeera offered us a historical perspective of 6 other times the US has banned immigrants. This includes the 1903 anarchists ban by Theodore Roosevelt which banned people based on political beliefs.

For me, the best place to relax and gain some perspective, is with my old friends of Al Jazeera, which truly seem to provide the best, fair and balanced news. Check out: Al Jazeera