And Director General of the al-Jazeera network explains why al-Jazeera could see the Arab revolution coming when the WEstern media could not:
Many media outlets in the region failed to recognize what was happening among the Arab grass roots. Keen to conduct interviews with high-level officials and ever willing to cover repetitious news conferences, they remained oblivious to what was happening on the ground.
At al-Jazeera we have spared no effort to search for the real actors, wherever they happen to be: whether in the cities, in the countryside, in camps, in prisons or in the blogosphere. We have been guided by a firm belief that the future of the Arab world will be shaped by people from outside the aging elites and debilitated political structures featured so disproportionately by most other news outlets.
The real actors did not appear on most television screens or magazine covers, whether in the Arab world or in Western media. Cameras were not attracted to them; columnists rarely mentioned them. Yet that did not deter them.
Al-Jazeera swam against that dominant current. We gave all the players the avenues they needed to communicate, providing diverse viewpoints on the issues. During the recent uprisings we were inundated with videos, pictures and writings from the new generation. We opened our screens to them; it is their voices that viewers found so compelling in our coverage. [Full article here.]