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Letter: Al Jazeera English is considered outstanding news organization, she says

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TO THE EDITOR: I live in Saudi Arabia and access several news sources, including the Pierce County Herald, via internet.

I was not surprised to read Ken Pazdernik's condemnation of Al Jazeera's acquisition of Al Gore's network.

I grew up in Spring Valley and graduated from UW-River Falls with a teaching degree. I've lived in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia for six years. At first I, too, was skeptical about Al Jazeera, but soon learned that Al Jazeera English is considered worldwide to be an outstanding news station. Many of its journalists have worked for CNN and BBC; it has won numerous awards; and it is known for its excellent documentaries including stories about the current plight of Hmong in Asia today and North Dakota's oil boom, to name two.

Al Jazeera is best compared to BBC. It recognizes there is a great, big world "out there" and reports from all corners of the globe. There is no Hollywood fluff, no nonstop coverage of one big story for days on end or talking heads' extremist viewpoints passed off as "news."

Al Jazeera does not align itself with the Muslim Brotherhood, nor are its ideals about "jihad" and other Islamophobic slander; it does not promote or glorify violence against Americans and Jews. Its mission, found on its website, is quality news.

Before getting nervous about its Arabic name and country of origin (Qatar), keep in mind that Prince Al Waleed bin Talal, a wealthy businessman of Saudi Arabian royalty, owns a large stake in Fox News, where I found many clips about the buyout. It's no secret, even if the "liberal lamestream media" isn't saying "anything."

Don't take my word or Mr. Pazdernik's word about Al Jazeera. Decide for yourself. Its website is aljazeera.com.

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