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"America is facing an information war ... and we are losing that war." That is what Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said as she spoke before the Senate foreign relations committee.

The war, she says, is being won by networks that offer "real news". She praised Al Jazeera and said that it is changing peoples' minds and attitudes.

Her comments came as Republicans plan to cut the state department's budget by half.

Is the US really losing the information war? And is public funding the solution?

Inside Story presenter Sami Zeidan discusses with guests: Tom Fenton, a former foreign correspondent and author of Bad News: The Decline of Reporting, the Business of News, and the Danger to Us All; Charlie Wolf, a political commentator and broadcaster; and Abdallah Schliefer, the former NBC Cairo bureau chief and now professor emeritus of journalism at the American University of Cairo.

This episode of Inside Story aired from March 5, 2011.

Source: Al Jazeera