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Monday, November 08, 2004

Juan Cole's commentary: essential

Prasad raised the point last night that it is essential that we be aware of what's happening outside of our own media bubble. Lately, that has been taken to mean the domestic divide between conservative vs liberal media (as a friend put it in an e-mail, it's right-wing radio, Fox News,, Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, et vs the NYTimes and NPR. To the latter you could also add PBS, Air America,,, and a number of other blogs. To the prior,, a number of other blogs.)

But Prasad's point was that we should be aware of how events are portrayed in media around the world--particularly in the Middle East.

This reminded me of Juan Cole's blog, since he seems to do a tremendous job of reading and commenting on what's happening the Arabic press. Not to mention the level of detail and historical context he brings to current events. Particularly timely given what's happening in Falluja today. He opens his latest entry, for example, as follows: "The Pakistan Times does among the best jobs of summarizing the horrific news from Iraq on Sunday..."

Add "Informed Comment" to your list of sites to visit on the regular.

PS: Prasad mentioned that remarkably little material gets translated into Arabic, as evidence of the dearth of free flow of ideas in the Middle East. Just noticed that Juan Cole is seeking to address this. He's soliciting donations through his website for what he calls the "Americana in Arabic Library Translation Project."

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