The essay is a critical review of two articles written by Fakhreddine, J., and Merrill, J. titled “Mirror on the Wall: Who is the Best Communicator of Them All-Al Jazeera or Al-Hurra? and “Professionalization: Fusion of Media Freedom and Responsibility” all published back in 2005. Issues to be addressed in the review include the main claims of the two articles, an exploration of the sources used, sufficiency of the argument, my counter-arguments, whether there was a logical flow of arguments, whether the claims could have been supported better and whether data, as well as evidence, could have been utilized in a better way to enhance the arguments brought forth.
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Regarding the first article written by Fakhreddine, J. the main claim or theme is the comparison between two Arab media houses, the Aljazeera and Al-Hurra. The author claims that despite the fact that they have Arabs employees and work purely based on Arabic cultural setting, the two media houses do have very different foreign media cultures compared to let’s say Public Broadcasting Service and the National Public Radio which are British and American based which have comparable media concept when they address their people but have the distinct manner in doing things when they are handling foreign media. In my view, the author managed to gather primary sources of data. For instance, he managed to use advertisement slogans from each media house and data collected from a survey of Arabs in the United States.
Although it is not very clear which sources were explored, I can gather from the article that the author heavily relied on information from the respective media houses. The type of research used by the author is explanatory research where he went further in establishing facts and tried to expound on them. To an extent, it can also be argued that the research took a qualitative approach. The main purpose of this type of research is to explain why certain things exist.
In my opinion, I believe that the evidence presented by the author did support the arguments sufficiently. For instance, when he compares the slogans used by the two media houses, it is evident that their target audiences are indeed different although both are Arabic media houses. One of the counter-arguments that the author failed to bring forth is with regards to different market segments within the Arabs who are the target of these media houses. Indeed it may be true that the different approaches used by the media houses may be aimed at attracting a certain group of Arab audience hence the distinction between Al Jazeera and Al-Hurra (Fakhreddine, 2005).
Concerning logic flow and smooth transition of arguments, the first two paragraphs are not very closely linked, however, the subsequent paragraphs logically flow from one idea to the next. For instance, when the author compares the advertisement of the two media houses, he starts with Al Jazeera then Al Hurra in a manner that it is easy for the reader to draw the distinction. However, there are some grammatical mistakes that could degrade the worth of this great work. I believe that the claims could have been supported better if the author went an extra mile to personally interview the respective target audience of the two TV channels together with the respective media houses. The data in my view were used in the best possible ways of enhancing the arguments (Fakhreddine, 2005).
For the second article written by Merrill, J. the main claim put forth is with regards to professionalizing journalism. This will help solve a ‘chaotic, fragmented, unethical, and largely anti-social state’ (Merrill, 2005: 17) journalism is facing. The author although not well stated I believed used secondary sources of data to support his claims. On this basis, the type of research approached use is qualitative where published materials are used to support and build arguments. Indeed there are instances that the author quotes from great philosophers such as Kant (Merrill, 2005).
I agree that the evidence presented by the author clearly supports his arguments. Apparently, it is even clear today that media hoses and owners are being faced with a number of ethical issues. A recent case is that of Murdoff who is a media mogul. On the same note, the author tried as much as possible to draw from various countries and how media and journalism are faring.
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While advocating for a professional body that will oversee all issues pertaining to journalism, the author emphasizes having a professional body within journalism which he says will not be influenced by outside forces; one big question is what if the same body conspires with those individuals it should govern and control, will this not compromise the initial goals of forming such a body?. The author could have argued this out vise a vis his claim of having an internal body then prove to readers why his position is better (Merrill, 2005).
In my view, the author managed to ensure his paper has a smooth transition as well as a logical flow of ideas. From one paragraph to another, readers are able to clearly understand the author’s point of view. The idea of using sub-heading is so perfect that one can easily navigate to an area of interest (Merrill, 2005). I believe that if the author could have provided a statistic, his claims could have been better supported. I hold the view that Merrill managed to utilize his data and evidence in a manner that fully enhances the arguments brought forth and there is no better way to do it than he did.
Fakhreddine, J. (2005). Mirror on the Wall: Who is the Best Communicator of Them All-Al Jazeera or Al-Hurra? Global Media Journal, 4(6): 2-10.
Merrill, J. (2005). Professionalization: Fusion of Media Freedom and Responsibility. Global Media Journal, 4(6): 15-21.