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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

NPH Gets An Online Video Tutorial on The Middle East

Sunday, July 23, 2006

NPH is no expert in Middle East politics; we know next to nothing, when you consider the vast amount of history and culture that feed present day violence. But we do know a little bit more now, thanks to Current TV, Reuters, and the BBC.

If you haven't heard of it before, Current TV is Al Gore's "citizen journalism" channel. Some people have been critical of it, calling it less bottom-up, independent journalism and more MTV-esque entertainment. But NPH has subscribed to Current TV's RSS feed for several months now, and we can honestly say that we have learned things we didn't know before, things that we would not have learned by watching CNN or reading the BBC.com.

Presently there are three pieces on Current's site that merit attention. This one, a little hands-on lesson in the basics of the Katyusha rockets being fired from southern Lebanon into northern Israel; this one, a primer on the city of Beirut itself and the Hezbollah political party, filmed mostly before the current fighting broke out; and this one (by the same correspondent that did the first one), a brief synopsis of the situation from inside Israel.

Don't expect these pieces to achieve the unbiased neutrality that has eluded the mainstream media; it doesn't exist. We all speak from somewhere, and we all carry assumptions and commitments that determine how we view any situation. But that's o.k. These pieces are still worth watching.

And so is this Reuters.com video on the continuing day-to-day routine in Beirut, and this one filed from northern Israel. The BBC, for its part, has a video report from Fergal Keane, NPH's favorite journalist in the world, taken from the city of Tyre.

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 7:37 PM

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