Bright new star
to shine in U.S.
Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, director general of Al Jazeera. Click image to enlarge.
A BRIGHT NEW STAR will arrive on televisions across America on Aug. 20 when Al Jazeera America launches its news broadcasts after a seven-year-long battle.
According to the Corporate Profile page on its web site, “Al Jazeera English is an international news channel with over sixty bureaus around the world that span six different continents.
“Since being established in 2006, it has continued to grow in reach and popularity due to its global coverage, especially from underreported regions.
“The channel currently broadcasts to over 250 million households across 130 countries.”
CNN and the other big three (excluding the NOT fair and balanced one) better wake up.
The new kid on the block is going to give them a run for their money.
VIDEO LINK BELOW THE FOLD.
IN AN EMAIL I RECEIVED Wednesday morning signed by The Al Jazeera America Team, the launch date is announced.
“That means we’ll be live in just 29 days from now,” it says. “Over that time we’ll finalize the details of the channel.”
The email that arrived in my in box this morning.
The email also named the new president, ABC News veteran Kate O’Brien, former senior vice president for news at ABC.
She’s definitely a heavy hitter – and an indication that Al Jazeera must be taken seriously.
“As president, Kate will define and implement Al Jazeera America’s editorial strategy and operations from our New York City headquarters” – just up the street from Rockefeller Center, NBC!
It was only in January that the Qatar-based network made a deal with former Vice President Al Gore to buy his cable channel, Current TV, so it could beam its signal directly into U.S. homes. Its English-language broadcasts had been barred from most cable networks since its launch in 2006.
The deal was estimated to be worth $500 million.
According to a story on its web site, the network plans to open additional bureaus in key locations across the United States to complement the existing Al Jazeera news bureaus in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago. It will also double its US-based staff to more than 300 employees.
I’ll bet a lot of journalists at troubled newspapers around the country are dusting off their resumes!
The award-winning channel is seen in more than 260 million homes in 130 countries, the web story says, but has had limited access to US markets.
“For many years, we understood that we could make a positive contribution to the news and information available in and about the United States and what we are announcing today will help us achieve that goal,” said Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, director general of Al Jazeera.
“By acquiring Current TV, Al Jazeera will significantly expand our existing distribution footprint in the US, as well as increase our newsgathering and reporting efforts in America.”
Welcome to the United States – bastion of the free press!
The web page with the corporate profile of Qatar-based Al Jazeera. Click image to enlarge.
In a video clip accompanying the story, no less than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sings it’s praises.
“Viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it’s real news,” she says. “You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock.”
Watch the video here.
I HAVE LONG BEEN a fan of the network, and you might notice it is one of only three news media outlets listed in the “News media” box at the top of this blog. That’s for a reason.
It is crucial that we Americans stop being so preoccupied with the trivial drivel spoon-fed to us by most major TV networks.
Most of those who watch only the major networks know little about what is truly important in the world.
When Anthony Weiner’s penis is again on the front page of The New York Times, as it was in my paper on Wednesday, the point is made – in spades.
I have long since quit watching U.S. broadcast TV news; it’s not worth my valuable time – or yours.
We need to know how the rest of the world views US, and the only way to find out takes effort, energy … and being In the (K)now.
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