You have to think that if you’re the executive editor or another high level person within the Al Jazeera organization that you’ve been waiting for this chance. The chance to take your now 6 year old new organization to the next level. AJE was a regional power, had a lot of money behind it, but is still banned in the US and largely doesn’t have the legitimacy of CNN and BBC. But this was their chance, and they absolutely nailed the coverage. It was spectacular in every way I can think of, and for all my friends I only wish you could have seen the narrative unfold. The first night I paid attention to Egypt was Jan 28, the first Friday after it all began.  That was the day that everything seemed to blossom.  That was the day when the police cracked down but then were beaten down.  That was the day the army took to the streets and no one was sure how they would react.  That was the day that they shut down the internet.  So much happened. From the balcony of AJE’s offices we watched the building of the ruling party burn, we watched a police APC stopped, tried to get thrown in the nile, and eventually burned in place (two weeks later I was awed by the continued presence of the carcass in a sweeping shot meant to show something else). There are too many reasons why AJE’s coverage of Egypt was an absolute masterpiece of television and journalism, something that should be studied not only in journalism schools but also in film schools.  It was brilliant in its ability to capture the emotions of what was happening. ![Egypt political crisis via Al Jazeera English @ flickr]({{ site.url }}{{ site.root }}{{ site.images_dir }}/{{ | date: “%Y” }}/5413058725_d416628f87.jpg) On Thursday Mubarak spoke. The world watched in collective silence and about two or three minutes into the speech it became clear that he was entrenching himself.  Within about ten seconds of me hearing that, AJE slowly fed in the audio from Tahrir square where things were going nuts side by side with its translator continuing to do his thing.  It was subtle and it was brilliant. [This NYT’s][3] article today compares their coverage to MSNBC and CNN and the others. It talks about another of the moments of brilliance. On Friday after Sulieman announced that Mubarak had stepped down the anchor simply said, “he’s gone.” And then it was just radio silence from talking.  All we saw and heard was sweeping shots of hundreds of thousands of people in the biggest celebration of their lives.  No words could describe it. [3]: [![][5]][5] []: I know I’m in danger of fawning here, which is never attractive, but it is difficult to contain myself. The final thing that was so special about this coverage, was that most of the reporters that AJE brought in were Egyptian diaspora. They all had a personal stake in what was happening around them, but they never let that come through and color their commentary in any way. In the end the anchor had to force them, and even then as the NYT’s article says they were true human beings with some staying steadfastly professional, and some more emotional. Get yourself some of their good journalism (please, if only so I can watch it when I am back in the States as I’m not sure I can stand American news/punditry for more than about 30 seconds of its screaming overly emotional coverage of anything) by [clicking here][5] and putting in your zip code. And watch some of the videos. [5]: The final thing I will say is this: [Ayman][6] [Mohyeldin][7] is now among my favorite reporters. They guy was absolutely unbelievable from the beginning to the end. [6]: [7]:!/aymanm So from all of us here in my house: Al Jazeera English, thank you for putting together a masterpiece and for letting me experience the roller-coaster in such a fantastic way. ~ # ~