Level: 124 
Life: 4638 / 4638
Magic: 32005 / 90506
Thanked 5,577 Times in 1,419 Posts
Join Date: Oct 2006
Hillary Clinton says US is “losing the information war” -
Hillary Clinton says US is “losing the information war”
March 2nd, 2011 - 16:43 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
During a speech in Washington a few hours ago, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the US is “losing the information war”. She said that Al Jazeera is “winning”, and that both China and Russia have invested in round-the-clock English news channels. She said that she herself has watched the Russian channel - RT - and found it ‘instructive’. She then went on to point out that the US is cutting back its international broadcasting effort, and so is the BBC.
Mrs Clinton’s comments took the staff of Al Jazeera English by surprise, as they do not consider themselves to be “at war” with media from other countries. It seems to me that Mrs Clinton is perpetuating the obfuscation that results from insufficient distinction between international broadcasting and public diplomacy. I can understand why she mentioned the Chinese and Russian channels, which do indeed have a propaganda role as well as an information role, but having watched Al Jazeera extensively over the past several weeks in addition to the BBC and CNN, I cannot see that the Doha-based channel poses any threat to getting US policies across. Indeed, I have seen more of Mrs Clinton on Al Jazeera than on any other channel! At a time when a growing number of people think Al Jazeera English should be more widely available in the US, I find Mrs Clinton’s remarks to be misleading and unhelpful.