Letters. Updates. Advice.

The New Face of Al Jazeera

Kudos on such a complete and informative story on the launch of Al Jazeera International (“Al Jazeera’s Global Mission,” April). This is of great significance for the U.S. media, and an alarmingly small amount of attention has been paid to it. I do hope that Americans can look past what they’ve been spoon-fed on the subject of Al Jazeera. Seeing the ways in which non-Americans view America can be an extremely powerful and eye-opening experience. Reports such as yours will hopefully open the eyes of the important corporate audience to the necessity of this kind of information outlet, and hopefully prove all of the skeptics wrong.


Josh Meltzer
New York, New York

I have been getting Fast Company for a few months now, and I have loved every issue more than the previous one. But this most recent issue with the Al Jazeera article blew my mind! Thank you a million times over for writing that article. I sincerely appreciate its tone. It was edgy and bold but not pointing the finger or catty or angry as some of the “alternative” news can be. I don’t watch mainstream news because I always feel empty and like something is missing from the story, but the nonmainstream stuff can be gossipy-sounding. I really appreciate when opinions and observations can be shared in such a way that, for example, the Bush administration and the U.S. military aren’t bad-mouthed or pooh-poohed, but rather their actions and effect on the rest of the world are merely described.

The rest of the world has been alienated by our foreign policy. It brought tears to my eyes thinking that the United States could bridge the gap it has created for itself from the rest of the world. And it gave me hope and inspiration that upcoming generations can be powerful citizens not just of our own beloved country but of the world.


Emily S. Iverson
Seattle, Washington

I wanted to let you know that “Al Jazeera’s Global Mission” brought me to tears on the New York City subway this afternoon. I’m a half-English, half-Iranian 22-year-old photography student at Parsons School of Design. Trust me, it’s not often (as in ever) that I get emotional over a news article, but this was the first time I’ve been able to see an actual avenue for change in the way the world works. I’ve believed for a long time that the way societies treat the information presented to them is changing, and I like to think that I have great faith in humankind. However, I now believe that I can get directly involved. Your article captured both my imagination and my empathy, and for that, I send you my deepest gratitude.

Taemur Moazzam


Linda Tischler’s story illustrates how we don’t see the world as it is but rather we see the world how we are.

Ray Dodd
Boulder, Colorado

This article is mind-altering. It’s so amazing to hear something of real value from a U.S. source. Keep bringing us the real happenings around the globe and about the United States within the global perspective. Linda Tischler’s story is enlightening and refreshing, renewing my faith in the ability of U.S. news sources to bring us information of real value. There was a recent news analysis that declared Al Jazeera to be more credible and accurate in its news reporting than Fox News. What will it take for U.S. news corporations to wake up to the reality that consumers want more than People magazine?


Jane Weigle
Pecatonica, Illinois

I consider myself conservative by most standards. I am a registered Republican and voted for George W. Bush (both times). But I am hungry for a more balanced reporting of the news. I hope Al Jazeera can get a footing in the United States, because I believe the way to defeat bigotry and terrorism is by common, ordinary people such as myself gaining an understanding of the rest of the world. If Al Jazeera can report the news without coloring it or slanting it, most Americans are intelligent enough to recognize it as the truth.

Linda Cannon McCollum
McIntosh, Florida


In “Al Jazeera’s Global Mission,” you incorrectly state that Al Hurra has “never found much of an audience. It is currently under investigation for various financial shenanigans.” To the contrary, recent independent surveys by well-respected research companies such as ACNielsen, Ipsos, and others have shown that Al Hurra reaches an audience of approximately 21 million adults each week, the vast majority of whom consider the news on the station to be reliable. Additionally, Al Hurra is not under “investigation for various financial shenanigans.” Ms. Tischler has mischaracterized routine oversight, which all entities funded by the government are subject to, as an “investigation,” and this is simply not the case. Al Hurra TV is attracting large audiences because it broadcasts objective, accurate news and is an example of a free press. That’s what should have been reflected in Ms. Tischler’s article.

Bert Kleinman
Al Hurra TV
Springfield, Virginia

The Editors respond:
In November 2005, the House of Representatives subcommittee for oversight and investigations held a hearing on Al Hurra to explore charges brought by former employees about various improprieties, including no-bid contracts and nonstandard hiring practices. One lawmaker noted a $120,000 haircut on the channel’s books. Al Hurra’s viewer statistics have also been the source of continued controversy. Professor Mark Lynch, of Williams College, who has been following Arab media, told
Communications Daily that the network’s claims of growing market share are “out of line” with what has been found by independent market research. “They can’t crack even 1%,” he says.


Your story on the traitor Josh Rushing causes me great concern. I, for one, am not interested in trying to understand those who would attack our country. They have earned no quarter and that is what we will give them.

K.W. Hein
Chandler, Arizona

The Green Wave

I would like to congratulate you on an extremely well-written and all around terrific article on Tulane University in the wake of Hurricane Katrina (“The Storm After the Storm,” April). As a lifelong New Orleans resident as well as a Tulane alum, I am extremely grateful. Tulane is a small school often overshadowed by more popular ones in the area. I was especially impressed by the stunning pictures that were featured.


Christopher Johnston
Metairie, Louisiana

Medical Records

Charles Fishman’s article on technology leading to greater efficiency in medical offices (“Record Time,” April) is a healthy sign that a complex profession is willing to make changes that benefit everyone involved. Those of us in education could learn from this. While we have certainly incorporated aspects of the digital age, we could well take a few more creative leaps capable of transforming our thinking and our operations for the sake of students and teachers.

Stephen G. Kennedy
Atlanta, Georgia


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