Al-Jazeera Makes People Less Dogmatic

I have to admit that I have never watched Al-Jazeera telvision.  I have heard good things about it but I came from California and that is not in the basic cable package.   Since being here I haven’t had cable and don’t spend a lot of time browsing internet news.  I’m sorry to say that most of my news comes from the radio, and the free newspaper they pass out at the metro stops in the morning on my way to work.  I find their finding somewhat questionable, based mostly on access.

Unless Al-Jazeera is part of a basic cable plan that means the people watching it are living in an area such as DC, that may already make them more open.  I’m not saying that that news has no effect, but simply that the sample is skewed, and non representative.

Regardless of this I found the article very interesting, and can see how people will choose the news that confirms their ideas.  In general I think that most people are frustrated with the quality of the news.  In my opinion of the news you get isn’t going to be very informative anyways you mind as well watch something that already agrees with your opinions.  I think this is probably a very common view.

My other argument with this is that unless you live in a large city and there are multiple stations that cover your local area, you often only have one choice of station.  Coming from a semi-rural area, there is really only one news station that covers anything local.  There are a couple stations that will touch on my areas events, but don’t even cover my towns weather.  As a result I think people ideas get shaped by the news that they watch, and then are reaffirmed because they keep watching the same station because that’s what their option is.  Yes they could watch other stations for national and international news, but lets face it, people are habitual.  They always watch Fox, CNN, or Al-Jazeera for their local, they’re probably going to watch that for the national and international news as well because it’s what they’re used to and comfortable with.

I think it’s a bit unfair to say that people will only watch news that reaffirms their beliefs.   I think this has some basis to it, but doesn’t accept the logic behind people’s choices.  I don’t think this is the only reason behind why they watch certain channels.  For example my grandmother changed news cast stations, simply because they got a new girl and she couldn’t stand the woman’s voice.


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