Thursday, October 18, 2012

The striking decline of Aljazeera's influence and appeal: the evidence

In the book, The Arab Revolution: Ten Lessons from the Democratic Uprising by Jean-Pierre Filiu, I read his reference to social media and the influence of Aljazeera.  He noted that in every Arab country except Saudi Arabia, is in the top twenty websites (p. 45), and the source cited Alexa.  The book was published last year but I knew that much has happened (not in favor of Aljazeera) in the last year.  So I thought to myself: I better check and see if Aljazeera is still in the top twenty websites in Arab countries.  Slightly to my surprise, I found the reverse to be true: is no more in the top twenty of all the Arab countries that I checked on Alexa: Morocco, Tunisia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, etc.  But I was rather shocked that Aljazeera net is not even among the top twenty websites in Qatar, where it used to be number one or two. Now it is ranked 57th.  That is rather revealing.  I am sure (but I have no evidence) that internal surveys of the network show the decline of the appeal and viewership of the network.  That is the price to pay for sensationalism, propaganda, sectarian agitation, and the crude promotion of royal agenda.  Aljazeera deserves its decline.