Al Jazeera Establishing American Channel

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?


2 Comments on “Al Jazeera Establishing American Channel”

  1. Because of Al Jazeera’s history — sometimes believed to be “pro-terror” (whatever that means) — many people will fear the Americanized portion of the Middles Eastern television network. However, I think that it shows an improvement within the industry in that area. Many places’ journalism are restricted because of political and religious reasons, but this shows the desire for freedom of the press in this region.

  2. aashkadave says:

    Regardless of the opinions that people have about Al Jazeera, I see no reason for them to be barred from the US. We live in a country with freedom of the press, and so long as Al Jazeera wishes to provide news in America, there is no reason to stop the network. Moreover, American news networks are already polarized. It is possible that adding another perspective to the mix might balance things out.

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