Al Jazeera

There are some names that come to mind when considering respected, world-wide news coverage. CNN, the BBC, Reuters (pronounced "roy-ters"), Al Jazeera. As an American (and indeed as a citizen of a country), my understanding of the world around me is somewhat insulated. As Ethan Zuckerman explains in a very good TED talk, we tend to get our news from familiar sources. It's only when we expand our news sources that we begin to see the rest of the world.

Al Jazeera English has an amazing app to do just that. Available for free in App World, the app links you to news stories from around the globe.  Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas are available with a click of the trackpad. But this app goes far beyond just the written word. In an article about NATO air strikes, with a click of the camera icon you're taken to the video version of the story.

The videos don't stop with just a few segments from the news. Al Jazeera English provides its live, 24-hour news broadcast as a streaming video. Just click where says Live Stream to launch the show in your browser. Want a little in-depth analysis? Click on the Programmes to read stories and watch videos from some of the shows on the network. When I say videos, I don't mean a short clip. I was pleasantly surprised to find my Torch happily streaming a 23 minute show.

My one complaint about this app is unique to the Torch (as of this writing). The touchscreen controls will not scroll. There's no problem when touching and using the app's buttons, but scrolling is a no-go. The only way to scroll is with the trackpad. Something that I'm sure will be fixed in version 1.01.

The Al Jazeera English app is packed with features from a respected world news outlet. I know I'll spend a lot of time using it to see, hear, and read about the larger world around me.

More information / download at BlackBerry App World 

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