Ben Hubbard, a journalist who has spent significant amounts of time in the Middle East, reflects on his experiences with Middle East new sources. Hubbard points out the vast disparity between sources such as Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya.
Hubbard tells of his experiences learning Arabic in 2004 when his vocabulary words to study included such phrases as “pre-emptive strike,” “booby-trapped car” and “the Zionist entity.” Such opinion-charged vocabulary, Hubbard argues, can make it difficult for people to trust their news sources. Switching from one channel to another can completely change the same news story.
While Hubbard points out the United States news media is not exempt from these types of biases–for example the way Fox News and MSNBC tell the same story in different ways–it would appear the Middle East news has a bit further to go.
This phenomenon is yet another reminder that as consumers of news, we need to be conscious of the biases which we are fed, and it is a reminder to journalists like Hubbard that the way in which journalists portray news has an effect.