25 March 2011

Americans do not trust Al Jazeera English

From Big Think:
To start, the authors asked people whether they watched AJE or its primary U.S. competitor, CNN International. Not surprisingly most people watched neither channel, as both have limited distribution in the U.S.

Respondents were assigned to one of three groups: AJE, CNNI or a control group. The AJE and CNNI groups were shown a video report that originally appeared on AJE about the Taliban and the Afghan government. The report did not mention the U.S. in any way. For the CNNI respondents, the AJE logo was replaced with the CNNI logo, though the report remained exactly the same in all other respects. The control group was not shown any video.

What did they find? Respondents that saw the clip with the AJE logo were far more likely to believe the clip and network were biased than those that saw the clip with the CNNI logo. "The findings that show differential bias ratings between AJE and CNNI based on the same exact news clip suggest Americans are, on average, still unable to fairly evaluate the station," the authors write. "Ninety-eight percent of participants had little or no exposure to the news channel, yet generally find it untrustworthy and are uninterested in watching, even after exposure to a clip that is credible enough to boost CNNI evaluations when ascribed to that network. This does not bode well for the prospects of AJE gaining a audience in the United States, while CNNI's better evaluations likely resulted from the goodwill of CNNI's brand.
The full study is posted at Arab Media & Society.


  1. Most Americans don't trust anything from outside America.

  2. The same behavior in germans or french is known by the name bigotry.

  3. Well, AJE aint exactly "fair and balanced" to begin with.

  4. I agree with Stan B. ... Inasmuch as "fair and balanced" has come to mean the antithesis of objectivity and quality. Al Jazeera's reporting kicks much buttocks.

  5. Interesting you posted this. I was just looking at a story today on CNN:


    The story had a lot of editorial, especially at the end. I decided to compare with Al Jazeera (which I first watched during the Egyptian protests):


    There was less opinion and more basic journalism in the Al Jazeera story.

    Count me as one American who doesn't trust any single source of news. I like to compare stories from various places, and form my own opinion as to the facts.

  6. The story specifies that these are not people who normally watch news. Does that mean they watch Fox?


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