Al Jazeera Breaking Into the U.S. Market: My Thoughts
With its lauding Al Jazeera for its coverage in the late 1990s, savaging it during the Abu Ghraib ordeal of several years ago and again praising it for its coverage of the Arab Spring, the U.S. government’s attitude towards the Qatar-based network bounces like a ping-pong ball. Now that Al Jazeera will acquire Current TV for half a billion dollars, it is curious to see how the cable operators will react. Time Warner first dropped Current after news of the transaction, but after relentless criticism the company may reconsider its decision.
Last week Al Jazeera English asked for my thoughts on the deal and what it means for American journalism. I insist that it could transform American broadcast journalism, the quality of which has long been in decline. Al Jazeera English, however, has an incredible team of journalism, and delivers the best coverage of India, Africa, the Balkans, Latin America and of course--the Middle East. To hold a grudge against Al Jazeera because of what occurred several years ago is absurd . . . and if the BBC or CNN revealed the Abu Ghraib scandal, the network’s bid to purchase Current would not be an issue. Bring on the upcoming Al Jazeera America, let viewers watch it, and then let them make their own decision. Comb through Al Jazeera's coverage of Syria: enough said.
The embedded video, which ran on AJE’s Listening Poston January 12, is 25 minutes long: fast forward to 9:12 to hear my thoughts.
Image credit: Wikipedia (Kai Hendry)