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Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 | 03:08 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 | 03:08 | SYDNEY

The bin Laden story, from Beirut

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4 May 2011 09:35

The news about bin Laden's death came while I was en route to Beirut on a research trip. In the short time I have been here it has been interesting to see how the story of the death has been portrayed on western vs Arab television. 

On BBC, Sky and CNN there has been nothing but bin Laden. As I write, it is still virtually wall-to-wall coverage.

It has also been reported heavily in the Arab media, but more as a big story rather the only story. Certainly both the English and Arab press had it as the dominant front-page story, and even Hizbullah's al-Manar television station had it as a regular CNN-style tickertape update on the bottom of the screen.

But the Arab media has already to a large degree moved on, still reporting on the story but just as one of many issues going on. In Beirut, the most pressing story is the inability to form a government, and what the likely impact on Lebanon is going to be of the unrest in Syria. The death of bin Laden is to most Lebanese of passing interest because it has no impact on them.

Photo by Flickr user John McNab.

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