COLUMBUS, Ohio (CGE) – Americans have been fed a daily diet of Egyptians, young and old, poor and rich, who are daring to opt for a shot at a new Democracy instead of continuing the rein of an 82-year old president, Hosni Mubarak, whose 30-year strongman rein would end with his son, Gamal, take over where his father left off.
The conglomerate of America’s national news media – NBC, ABC, FOX, CBS, MSNBC and CNN – have fed a steady 24/7 stream of satellite-driven coverage of determined protesters who have gathered and stood their ground in Tahrir Square in Cairo, as equally determined mobs of pro-Mubarak supporters have bloodied them using horses, camels and vehicles to disperse them or run them down.
But as New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Rich noted in his Saturday column, Wallflowers at the Revolution, Americans have been anesthetized for far too long on Middle East problems from coverage American news sources provides that would rather focus on the use by Egyptians of American social media innovations like Twitter or Facebook than the real reasons behind the recent revolt and uprising – poverty, lack of jobs and a ruler who enforces his way of doing things.
What you didn’t see at the revolution
Rich revealed that Al Jazeera English, the world’s first English-language news channel headquartered in the Middle East, providing 24-hour news and current affairs broadcasting, is carried by only a few local cable networks in the nation.
As of 2011, Al Jazeera English, has such poor coverage in the North American market that it’s picked up by only one satellite service, and no cable networks – except one Ohio cable provider in Toledo and Sandusky. The international channel is also carried by local cable systems in Burlington, Vermont; Houston, Texas; and Washington, DC.
Buckeye Cable (Channel 220) in Toledo and Sandusky offers Al Jazeera English as channel 269 in the Digital Basic Pak (included in the Gateway Pak), according to the Northwest Ohio Line-up posted at the cable station’s website.
Buckeye CableSystem, part of Block Communications Inc., which also owns The Toledo Blade, was named one of the 10 best large employers in the state by the Best Companies Group, in conjunction with the Ohio State Council for the Society for Human Resources Management.
The Al Jazeera brand, launched in November 2006, is now reaching 80 million homes. As of 2009, Al Jazeera’s English-language service can be viewed in every major European market, and is available to 130 million homes in over 100 countries via cable and satellite, Molly Conroy, a spokeswoman for the network in Washington said, as reported by Wikipedia.
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