Online study shows many US viewers still prejudiced against Al Jazeera
March 17th, 2011 - 12:13 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.

To coincide with the debate in the United States about access to Al Jazeera English (AJE), which won wide acclaim for its coverage of the Egyptian revolution, Arab Media and Society is running a special feature on fresh research on the subject.

This study, by William Youmans and Katie Brown of the University of Michigan, suggests that there remains substantial prejudice against AJE among segments of the American public. The participants in an online experiment watched the same exact AJE-produced news segment, with either AJEís original branding or edited to carry CNN Internationalís logo.

The average respondent gave more credit to the clip when attributed to CNN International, a boost not received by AJE. Negative evaluations of AJE also correlate significantly with conservative political ideology and anti-Arab sentiments. Overall, results suggest prejudice against AJE takes root in deeper beliefs, perhaps too deep for AJE to overcome in the short-term.