Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why I Watch the BBC

The last few weeks have not been kind to me either on a computer front or the internet. My hard drive in my laptop began making sounds more appropriate to an angry dog, not a comforting event. I could barely work with email, much less my usual news sources, most of which are on the net. I use Google News a lot when I want to get a variety of viewpoints on a particular issue, but my daily news usually comes from Reuters or the BBC. My opinion of the North American news is not the best and I find that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert do a fairly good job on the political issues there.

When something happens like the recent Israeli demolition of Gaza, the North American news is not the place that I look to for information, since my experience is that it will not be reasonable coverage. I've been bombarded with invitations to join Facebook groups in support of the Palestinians who have been first imprisoned in Gaza and now are being slaughtered there. I've read notes on line talking about demonstrations in support of the Gazans in Egypt, although to be honest the demonstrations I've seen have been extremely orderly and low key. On one hand, one would imagine that the obvious thing to do would be to open the borders at Gaza to let people out of the conflict but with that tiresome ability to see shades of grey that comes with aging, I can also see the incredible problems that Egypt would face were it to do so. This isn't simply being caught between a rock and a hard place, but being surrounded by them. I'm not going to suggest that I have answers. I don't. It breaks my heart to hear of the suffering of the Palestinians and I have to admit to little sympathy for the Israeli's who feel that the death of a few of their people justifies the destruction of so many others.

A friend sent me this Youtube video and I feel that it makes some very good points that people need to be aware of. And that's why I watch the BBC.

copyright 2009 Maryanne Stroud Gabbani


lakeviewer said...

I couldn't agree with you more. We are shortchanged here in America, with news teams all sounding the same and giving us the same few scenes. Most of my news is through the BBC and foreign language channels we subscribe to.

Great to have found you and hope to return to your site.

EgyDiva said...

I would also suggest following Robert Fisk's updates on the opinion section of the Independent. he's a profoundly intelligent writer...

Rhonda said...

Hey Maryanne! I used to be pretty much sympathetic to Israel until I became more aware of the complex dynamics of the whole situation. I still think it is beyond my comprehension. Thanks for the video. Oh! I saw the article in the New York Times about your place. Made me feel special to know I had been there! They did a nice job I thought. Take care. Rhonda

Connie said...

It seems that the internet troubles related to the broken cables in the Med Sea have been fixed. Finally. We do not watch any news on TV. It is all very biased. Some, like BBC, is better, but... well, it HURT to be without the internet. I also like Google News and feel that by catching the headlines from news sources world-wide, in one place, at one time, I get a more 'real' view of the news.
I say that both the Israelis and the Palestinians have failed their people. Horribly. We can blame the Israelis for a lot of things, but have the Palestinians really done anything to help the situation? I say give control of the whole area to Disney Inc. Turn it into a theme park. Absurd? Maybe. But so is the current (and past) situation. It seems that it will likely take firm outside control to fix things and PROTECT the people! (Why does that even need to be said?) The ones in charge internally, BOTH sides, fail, and fail, and fail - and for what often appears to be very selfish reasons. BOTH are like rival drug gangs, shooting things up for control of the market - to hell with the innocents in the way. Absurd, and very sad.

About Me said...

I agree with EgyDiva that Robert Fisk's updates in the Independent are useful for gaining accurate insights on the Gaza conflict, as well as other MENA topics. Maryanne, have you considered Al Jazeera English as well?

For another view of this same issue, my Global Pulse team has just examined media bias in coverage of Gaza (see "Gaza Media War" at Do let me know if you have thoughts.


Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

I just recently had to replace my laptop and am sorting out old bookmarks and such. Nice thing with the new one is that I can actually watch TV online now. That is a terrific site. I do check Jazeera English as well. My main impetus for starting this blog was the fact that I felt that the information out there about Egypt was so terribly one-sided in 2003. No one had any way of getting a picture of "normal" life here for either Egyptians or for foreigners. It was all about protests, problems, and so on, which while they are real are only a fraction of our day in real life as a rule. Everyone I knew in the cyberworld was assuming that all of life in the Middle East was an approximation of the horror that is Gaza now. The balance is so important, if only to remind us all that essentially we are so much alike.

Tunis Times said...

Thanks Maryanne for helping to show a much more nuanced portrait of Egypt through your blog. I had a similar motivation when I kept a blog while living in Tunisia this past year. I think many Americans simply don't realize how many news sources we have available, particularly through the Internet and satellite TV, and how our views of the world can change as a result. Please do keep writing!

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