Why does Al Jazeera call terror, just violence

Washington: Anmol Saxena has done a hard day’s work in defending his channel. What he describes as the increasingly difficult job of sorting through the myriad streams of information and the crowd of talking heads is exactly the question I posed in my column. The channel chose someone who is known to parrot Pakistani establishment views. He has neither credentials nor the ability to articulate coherently. A little background check on him from independent and respected Pakistani analysts would have solved the problem.

The gentleman’s enthusiasm to just keep talking — by now a well-proven tactic of agenda-loving people — over the voices of others was a ploy, not his passion for a cause. Give me the benefit of some experience in being able to sort wheat from chaff. I have been a journalist for nearly three decades and have not always been “sitting in Washington.” Anyway why should that be a problem?

Screengrab of Al Jazeera website

The anchor feebly tried to interject but never succeeded. If she were familiar with sub-continental history, she would have known how the Pakistani guest was spinning it and to what end. In my opinion, the anchor failed to intelligently “guide” the discussion. The point about the need for multiple views was unnecessary since intelligent viewers and reporters seek that by definition.

I am happy that the channel has received awards and accolades from important people. But if I might be permitted to think that Mr Chidambaram chose to reveal details of the dossier via Al Jazeera, it might be because he knew it would get the attention of the people in Pakistan. It was a strategy, I would conjecture.

And finally, if you want to refer to terrorist groups that openly attack innocent people with the intention to kill the maximum number as merely “violent groups,” that is your fine editorial line, but one that makes a viewer wonder. As I did. I also wonder how the channel defines terrorism.

I wish you luck in your aim to break the “hegemonic narrative “ of the “traditional western media.” There is a western narrative, no doubt, but it appears you are building an equally  controversial one — at least on India.

Read Seema Sirohi’s article Shocker: Al Jazeera’s ignorant anti-India narrative

Read what Anmol Saxena, Chief of Bureau, Al Jazeera English, India, had to say to Seema's article.

Updated Date: Aug 24, 2012 15:39 PM

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