This is what's written on The Stream's wikipedia page:
"It is branded as a “Web community With a Global TV show”. On television and online The Stream taps into the extraordinary potential of social media to disseminate news. The Stream is an aggregator of online sources and discussion, seeking out unheard voices, new perspectives from people on the ground and untold angles related to the most compelling stories of the day."
The Stream, impressively, has covered many untold stories. Contiguous events that other news outlets seem to ignore.
But it seems there's one story that everyone has agreed to ignore; and that's Sudan. Yes, Sudan. Sudan is no longer a country, nor a state, it's a news story. There is so much wrong in Sudan that even Ethiopia is offering a helping hand.
But it seems Sudan doesn't fit the aforementioned prerequisites. Apparently, there are no "unheard voices" to seek out, no "new perspectives from people on the ground", and also no "untold angles" related to Sudan's compelling stories. Well, OK, Sudan's story is never the most compelling of the day, because there's always someone somewhere in the world launching an online crime fighting website.
Don't get me wrong, I understand The Stream's commitment to the impacts of social media and its effects, but a consistent apathy towards Sudan is not justifiable.
Let's put Darfur and Abyei aside. During The Stream's first couple of weeks it addressed the issue of dying languages. There were detailed accounts made of two dying languages in Mexico, which was interesting. So I thought I should contribute. Being naive, I "told Al Jazeera" (#tellaljazeera) of the Nubian language in Northern Sudan that's losing its grip on survival everyday. Did Al Jazeera mention it? No.
At a later time, I was so enraged at the situation in Abyei, "I told Al Jazeera" to give it a mention. Did they mention it? No.
Mind you, Sudan is in the MENA region. It's right next to Egypt. To be more precise, Egypt and Sudan share a 1,273 km border, that's probably the circumference of Qatar (I'm not going to check, you check).
So, since none of the Misseriya, Dinka-Ngok or residents of South Kurdofan have iPhones or Android enabled mobile devices, the current conflict in Sudan will probably never make it to The Stream. Yes, all other news corporations also regard Sudan as insignificant, but The Stream matters to me, primarily because I'm its audience. I'm not a social media activist but I believe in the powers of social media, which automatically makes watching The Stream a daily chore.
The topics that have been covered on The Stream are numerous. From the Saudi women's fight for rights to India's new anti-corruption online activities. But for some reason, Sudan, which is inundated with problems, is being omitted.
Maybe social media hasn't done anything for Sudan, maybe it can, maybe it can't. But all these factors need to be addressed. I don't expect The Stream to cover only Sudan, but at least acknowledge the fact that there are some very serious problems in the region, and how, despite all efforts by the Sudanese online community, they have been incessantly missed or even ignored. That's a real issue, and it concerns social media and the internet. The failure of an online awareness campaign is just as important as a success. So, what's The Stream waiting for?
I was a dedicated fan of The Stream, I even used to watch the post-show discussions on a lagging stream, but I can't fervently support something that completely ignores my issues.
Hence, I think all Sudanese people should boycott Al Jazeera's The Stream, and I will be the first.