Al Jazeera “the brand” has for long been linked to the word “uprisings” and the two became mutually exclusive. Their relationship goes back to the early days when the channel started broadcasting about the “Intifada”, the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians in the West Bank of Gaza.
Al Jazeera was just another news channel, but broadcasting live from Gaza inflicted pain upon the open wounds found in thousands of Arabs. The Arab world had never seen such detailed coverage inside the “forbidden” walls of The West Bank; suddenly they felt connected and closer to their lost dream. People were able to see the daily routine of Palestinians and experience for a minute or two behind a screen, what the Palestinians deal with under tight, oppressive conditions.
When it came to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict those days, CNN, BBC and other international media outlets were considered in the Middle East as being biased towards Israel. What they broadcasted about the occupied territories was very minimal unless an Israeli soldier was shot, rarely addressing the dead and wounded Palestinians.
Al Jazeera took an alternative approach to those media outlets who as most Arabs believed that these channels did not show enough images about the crisis ” because they are controlled by Jewish and Zionists in the US”. As a result, shining a spotlight on the Palestinians was insignificant to their audience, goes against their governments’ politics, or would make the public sympathize with the Palestinians.
Back then listening to CNN or BBC in matters that concern the Arab world did not satisfy the Arabic hunger for in depth coverage and analysis of the Middle East; there was a missing link that Al Jazeera was able to fill. It was a news entity from the region and for the region speaking in their language.