Harman Patil

The Listening Post

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Created by  Al Jazeera English
Country of origin  Great Britain
Running time  30 minutes
Presented by  Richard Gizbert
Location(s)  London
Original network  Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera America

The Listening Post is a current affairs programme broadcast on Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera America. It is filmed and produced from Al Jazeera English's hub in London at the Shard.

Contents

History

The show was first aired in November 2006, as was Al Jazeera English itself. The show was part of the station's original programming line-up and continues to this day. Throughout its lifetime, from launch to date, the show's presenter has been Richard Gizbert. Gizbert, a veteran of ABC News, was recruited in April 2006, in the run-up to the station's launch, to present the media-analysis show.

Format

The aim of the show is to offer a critique of journalism and of the media industry around the world today: "The Listening Post aims to monitor all forms of media, from networks to bloggers, and report on what they do or do not cover."

Each episode presents:

  • two in-depth reports, showing how the key stories of the week have been handled by the various players in the world's media.
  • a segment known as "The Download" (formerly "Global Village Voices") that airs viewers' comments on the stories featured.
  • brief news-items on general developments in world of journalism.
  • Gizbert initiated a fast-paced and hard-hitting style that avoids the pitfalls of many similar shows, that rely on an interview style.

    Gizbert takes the initiative and the responsibility for the analysis, but minimizes the risk by demonstrating the evidence for the deductions. Other broadcasters, by contrast, try to step back from responsibility by hosting interviews: this provides many assertions, but little analysis. The result is usually one of two equally unsatisfactory outcomes.

    The Listening Post differs in that it tends to compare and contrast the original footages. This demonstrates quickly and succinctly not only what each player has put into their variant of the story, but also what each has left out. The footage also shows how the press can often be as conformist and subservient to those in power. In addition, the show has discussed a recurring journalistic tendency to regurgitate convenient 'factual' detail, without checking either the source of the material - and a possible agenda in offering it - or the methodologies, which can frequently be unscientific and specious.

    Critique

    Aaron Barnhart of The Kansas City Star said: it "might be the best media-critique program in English anywhere."

    References

    The Listening Post Wikipedia


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