David Zurawik

Here's the Al Jazeera film on Baltimore that cable TV doesn't want you to see [Video]

UPDATES with reaction to the film from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's office...

Using digitalmedia once again to end run the cable TV industry, Al Jazeera English posted its latest documentary, "Baltimore: Anatomy of an American City," online Tuesday morning. The film will premiere on the channel at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, with multiple plays throughout the week.

I believe it's outrageous that cable TV operators have kept the channel off its systems in cities like Baltimore, despite stellar coverage of major stories in the Middle East and endorsements ranging from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the leading academic experts and authors on global media.


Thanks to Al Jazeera posting the documentary today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's office was able to view it Tuesday afternoon. Ian Brennan, press secretary to Rawlings-Blake, sent this statement via email to the Sun after seeing the film:

"The documentary showed viewers one side of Baltimore. As a life-long resident and former public defender, Mayor Rawlings-Blake knows this side all too well; she also knows that there is much more to Baltimore than was included in the broadcast. FBI statistics show that, in the past decade, crime and violence have declined significantly in Baltimore. Last year, for the first time since 1977, Baltimore recorded fewer than 200 homicides—a 12% decline from the year before. Mayor Rawlings-Blake has consistently expressed that these major declines in violence, while remarkable and real, are not a cause for celebration, but a call for further action, because Baltimore can be a safer, growing city."

Along the left rail of this post, please find links to the print and online pieces I have been writing about this thought-provoking documentary.

And let me know what you think of the film (posted below).