Alan Fisher - Journalist

Personal website of Al Jazeera English journalist, Alan Fisher

The Blog

view:  full / summary

An Historic Small Step

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 11:05 AM

In a country where so much history has been written, where it looms almost on every corner, they're adding a new chapter to the books.

In the fog and chill just after dawn, many left their homes and headed off to the polling stations across Cairo and around the country.

The men stood around in small groups, smoking and chatting. The women, more disciplined and organised, standing quietly in line.

They came from all parts of the community here. There was C...

Read Full Post »

An oops heard around the world

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Rick Perry has been campaigning for months. He’s been shaking hands and kissing babies in the way politicians are meant to when they want elected. But in just fifty three seconds all that was undermined. Fifty three seconds which could kill his presidential bid.

Initially he was quoted as being reluctant to enter the race, but urged on by his wife, Anita. He declared his candidacy in the summer. He immediately became the front runner and as such attracted a pile of money who belie...

Read Full Post »

Reality Bites

Posted on November 10, 2011 at 9:15 AM

America has long had an obsession with celebrity. It fuelled the fan magazines of the 1930s and 40s. In the Fifties and Sixties, Hollywood manufactured the images of the stars like the "dashing" Errol Flynn and the "womanising" Rock Hudson, carefully hiding the drug taking, alcohol abuse and homosexuality that the studio bosses feared would put off audiences, destroy careers and damage profits.

The gossip and rumour became regular fodder of daily TV shows and magazines in the 1980s. And...

Read Full Post »

Anguished Indecision

Posted on November 6, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Flying across Iowa, the flat fields of corn stretch way into the distance until the handful of tower blocks which mark the centre of Des Moines suddenly loom into view.

Read Full Post »

Gunning for the Presidency

Posted on September 22, 2011 at 4:35 AM

I've had dealings with Martin McGuinness for almost 20 years. I know his background, I know the stories they tell about him. Yet I find him more human, easier to deal with than his colleague Gerry Adams. Even during the stressful early days of the peace process, McGuinness never lost his sense of humour or easy way with the media.


The decision by Sinn Fein to run him as a candidate in the Irish Presidential election is opportunistic but not surprising.



Read Full Post »

The 9/11 Decade

Posted on September 10, 2011 at 1:05 PM

It’s an image rarely seen on TV nowadays. It’s regarded as too shocking, too awful to repeat. But everyone remembers the moment the second plane hit the second of the twin towers in New York, an event which is seared on the world’s consciousness as much for the moment itself as the moments that followed.


It marked the start of a decade defined by fear, by fighting. The ripples of what happened that late summer day in New York have touched many places, many...

Read Full Post »

Waiting for the next time

Posted on September 9, 2011 at 7:40 PM

A short drive from the US capital, Washington, is the suburb of McLean in the state of Virginia. It is fairly unremarkable. It has the usual collection of dry cleaners and auto shops, cafes and stores. And it is also the new front line in making American safe.

From the road, it is possible to see the corner of a fairly modern-looking building, which since April 2008 has housed the office of the Director of National Intelligence. On the road, there is nothing to suggest what is there - n...

Read Full Post »

Obama's Historic Challenge

Posted on August 31, 2011 at 1:15 PM

A sign the summer is almost over is that the politicians are returning to Washington DC.

In the next few days – they’ll get down to business again. Attention is turning to the election next year. And in the quiet corners and coffee shops across the city, hushed conversations are raising the possibility of the first challenge to Barak Obama could come from within his own party.

Jimmy Carter was the last sitting Democrat to face a serious primary challenge – and no...

Read Full Post »

The Last Goodbye

Posted on August 18, 2011 at 2:10 AM

My mum, Anna, came from one of the generations of Scots women who worked hard. Born before the Second World War – they grew up in a time of great hardship and difficulties but they didn’t know any better. No-one came around to tell them how tough they had it.


In a contrast to what we saw in other parts of the UK recently, there was no rebellion, no violent sense of entitlement despite the grinding poverty and lack of opportunity. No outsider was expected to make...

Read Full Post »

The Hack who has never Hacked

Posted on July 21, 2011 at 1:56 AM

Journalists are largely unloved by the public. Survey after survey puts my chosen profession towards the bottom of the likeability scale, only estate agents are held in more distaste, and even that might be a close run thing now.

In TV and the movies, the journalist is rarely the hero, and when he is (and it’s more often a he) he is flawed and broken, ruined by the job and the demands it makes.

The last few weeks have not been good for journalists. And in the fevered revulsi...

Read Full Post »