Americans tune into Al-Jazeera to watch Gaza war
JERUSALEM - The most comprehensive coverage of Gaza came from Al-Jazeera's English-language station. While international reporters were barred by Israel from freely entering Gaza during the fighting, Al-Jazeera had its Gaza correspondents on the ground.
And Americans apparently took notice.
According to The Associated Press, Al-Jazeera English saw a 600 percent jump in its online viewership, and 60 percent of that growth came from people watching in the United States.
The station is only available on three small cable stations in the U.S., so most people who want to watch it from America have to go on the Internet.
"Gaza ... was a breakthrough opportunity to make an impact with people who are less aware of Al-Jazeera than we'd like," said Tony Burman, managing director of the English-language channel in Qatar.
Meanwhile ... Israel's Supreme Court finally got around to ruling, one week after the major Israeli military strikes came to a halt, that Israel has to let journalists into Gaza unless there are "dire circumstances of concrete danger" that require the border to be closed.
The ruling came too late for journalists to cover the fighting itself. But Gaza is now saturated with reporters who are flooding the area to tell the stories.
And there are many, many stories. The full picture is just beginning to emerge.
(Dion Nissenbaum covers the Middle East for McClatchy Newspapers as the Jerusalem bureau chief. To read more of this writer's blog - as well as those of other McClatchy foreign correspondents - go to http://news.mcclatchy.com/.)