Al Jazeera Establishing American ChannelPosted: January 26, 2013
Early in 2013, Al Jazeera Media Network purchased Current TV and plans to produce an American News Channel.
Al Jazeera’s hiring process reveals the channel’s intent to have largely American-produced content, including analysis of sports, economic news and investigative reporting within Washington D.C. All other content will come from Al Jazeera English.
This decision has been met with a great deal of controversy. Some see Al Jazeera as a tool of the government of Qatar thinly veiled as an independent media empire. Many critics of Al Jazeera have called its coverage anti-American, soft on the Qatari Monarchy and even pro-terror.
Others think the American public needs Al Jazeera’s perspective. U.S. media, particularly television news, has been continually criticized for inadequate international coverage and a perceived whitewashing of U.S. military action.
Immediately after the announcement Time Warner Cable dropped Current TV. Whether or not the distributor will carry Al Jazeera America is unknown, although Al Jazeera English is already available as a free stream online.
Al Jazeera’s move on American television raises many questions. Is Al Jazeera’s perspective a valid one? Should Al Jazeera’s voice be welcomed in the United States? Does a news broadcast available online for free threaten the cable business model?