Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
The Media Television News

Al Jazeera Gets a US Voice 444

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that Al Jazeera plans to start an English-language channel available in more than 40 million U.S. homes, with newscasts emanating from both New York and Doha, Qatar. They announced a deal to take over Current TV, the low-rated cable channel that was founded by Al Gore seven years ago. But the challenge will be persuading Americans to watch the award winning network with 71 bureaus around the world — an extremely tough proposition given the crowded television marketplace and the stereotypes about the channel that persist to this day. 'There are still people who will not watch it, who will say that it's a "terrorist network,"' says Philip Seib. 'Al Jazeera has to override that by providing quality news.' With a handful of exceptions, American cable and satellite distributors have mostly refused to carry Al Jazeera English since its inception in 2006. While the television sets of White House officials and lawmakers were tuned to the channel during the Arab Spring in 2011, ordinary Americans who wanted to watch had to find a live stream on the Internet. Al Jazeera's Robert Wheelock said, We offer an alternative. It's a broader coverage of news. It's a broader spectrum into countries that aren't traditionally covered.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Al Jazeera Gets a US Voice

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 05, 2013 @08:16PM (#42491299)

    Fox News isn't really that independent 25% of its ownership belongs to Saudi family (yes, as in Saudi Arabia). At least AlJazeera provides quailty coverage..

  • by ivi ( 126837 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @08:26PM (#42491377)

    CBC's "As It Happens" & "The Current" news & current events programs are well worth a listen, eg, via podcasts.

    Warm - asking difficult questions sensitively (eg, about tragic stories), & providing time both for the whole answer -and- transitions between adjacent stories... sometimes playing fitting music between them.

    Smart - asking excellent & concise questions, giving time for interviewees' answers... but also asking excellent follow-up questions, so their probing questions -get- answered.

    Ever since the days of the (late) radio journo Barbara Fromm, these & other Canadian programs have kept the hard-hitting interview tradition alive & well. We love em!

  • by grimJester ( 890090 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @08:29PM (#42491403)
    Found stories like

    Are US evangelicals exporting anti-gay views? []
    "A new report reveals conservative American Christian groups behind efforts to criminalise homosexuality in Africa." and

    What is Obama risking by backing gay unions? []
    "We ask if the US president should go a step further by offering constitutional protection for gay and lesbian couples."

    Al Jazeera is far from conservative.
  • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @08:30PM (#42491417)

    Yup here they come. Except for issues that have directly to do with the Qatari government and its interests (for example Arab Spring in Qatar), Al Jazeera english is quite fair and balanced. And they go a lot of places other news organizations are unable or unwilling to go. This may be unpleasant to Americans (the inside story of the civil war in Syria, for example), or even uncomfortable when the results of western action are exposed.

    In any case, give it a look see yourself. Go to their web site and watch right there online. Or do this:

    rtmpdump -v -r rtmp:// | mplayer -

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 05, 2013 @08:59PM (#42491647)

    If you look at their English edition and track the history of reporting on different countries you'll notice that articles about the US are far more likely to have the comment system enabled, while articles about Middle East countries, Russia, or China almost always have the comments disabled. When you see that most of the comments are anti-US and anti-Jewish, you will wonder whether it's an underhanded way of maintaining a veneer of neutrality while still guiding opinion.

  • by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @09:00PM (#42491655) Journal

    Its owner is the state of Qatar, hosts to the U.S. Central Command’s Forward Headquarters and Combined Air Operations Center. There is nothing "radical" about them. All "news" must receive clearance, Clarence...

  • by Sique ( 173459 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @09:22PM (#42491799) Homepage
    Actually, the BBC is not owned by the british government. For some reasons, some US-Americans have a problem with grasping the difference between "public" and "governmental".
  • by colinrichardday ( 768814 ) <> on Saturday January 05, 2013 @09:22PM (#42491801)

    Article. IV.

    Section. 1.

    Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

    The State of Hawaii says that President Obama was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961.

  • by guises ( 2423402 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @09:23PM (#42491811)
    The article on homosexuality laws says nothing about Muslims. There has been a strong push recently in Uganda to make homosexuality punishable by death, and this has been spearheaded by Christian groups and linked to Christian groups in the US, most prominently the Fellowship Foundation ("The Family"): []

    Though it's worth noting that this link has been repudiated.

    Yes, it's true that there are many Muslim groups who are also anti-gay, as well as groups from other religions (Mormons). This article does nothing to hide that fact, merely by not discussing it. That was not the topic at hand.
  • Al Jazeerah is BBC (Score:5, Informative)

    by mrops ( 927562 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @09:23PM (#42491813)

    It was formed when BBC closed it Arabic division. Those folks went and started Al Jazeerah.

    It is criticized as too west in the Arab world.


  • This is London! (Score:5, Informative)

    by vm146j2 ( 233075 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @09:54PM (#42492011)

    Those of you not familiar with the history, Al Jazeera was founded by the staff of the BBC's Arabic language channel when they went into retrenchment (shut down the channel they did). The Qatari's foot the bill, but the overarching philosophy and quality are Auntie Beeb's. They only got a bad rap from the Bush administration for reporting honestly during the Iraq invasion, but basically they are the straightest shooters in the Arabic world, and one of the best sources of world news period now that the U.S. desks have given up on maintaining foreign bureaus.

  • by Darby ( 84953 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @10:45PM (#42492299)

    As I understand it, Al-Jazeera is as biased and controversial as both the left- and right- leaning institutions already in place, and I fail to see how an additional news network adds anything beneficial to the conversation.

    In America, there are no left leaning networks, only hard right to lunatic fringe right, so something which is even moderate right would be a adding much to the conversation.
      They have a much better record on bias than the existing American networks, so while it does remain to be seen, it's likely to be a good thing.

  • by Maow ( 620678 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @11:48PM (#42492613) Journal

    This is what always made me LMAO at these chuckleheads, they can't say what they really want which is "He's a nigger!" so they try to find another reason to get rid of him, even if that reason MAKES NO SENSE. The law could NOT be clearer on the fact, as long as the mother is an American who has not renounced her citizenship then the baby is an American PERIOD.

    Couldn't agree more, hairy.

    no other country lets you just sneak a pregnant woman across their border and suddenly gives the kid of an illegal invader full citizenship and benefits, that would be stupid

    Actually [], there are some other countries [] (Canada is another "advanced economy", for example):

    Antigua and Barbuda[9]
    Argentina Argentina[9]
    Barbados Barbados[9]
    Brazil Brazil[9]
    Canada Canada[9][13]
    Chile[14] (children of transient foreigners or of foreign diplomats on assignment in Chile only upon request)
    Costa Rica[9][15] (Children born to non-Costa Rican citizens obtain citizenship if registered as a Costa Rican by the will of either parent during minority or by his own will up to the age of twenty-five)
    El Salvador[9]
    Paraguay Paraguay[9]
    Saint Kitts and Nevis[9]
    Saint Lucia[9]
    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines[9]
    Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago[9]
    United StatesUnited States[9]

    There are also some [] that have modifed jus soli (which it seems a good idea to do in the days of virtually immediate international travel).

  • by lee1 ( 219161 ) <lee@lee-ph i l l> on Sunday January 06, 2013 @12:02AM (#42492677) Homepage
    "this has been spearheaded by Christian groups and linked to Christian groups in the US" And applauded by the Pope: []
  • by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @01:20AM (#42493039)

    As I said here [], (from wikipedia)

    If one parent is a U.S. citizen and the other parent is not, the child is a citizen if
        * the U.S. citizen parent has been "physically present"[7] in the U.S. before the child's birth for a total period of at least five years, and
        * at least two of those five years were after the U.S. citizen parent's fourteenth birthday

    This applies to out-of-us-territory births, of course. It has nothing to do with "women as chattel", it has to do with whether we grant citizenship to folks born outside of our country when their parents may have insubstantial ties to this country.

  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @01:28AM (#42493075)

    a country were women have no voice and homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death

    Where are these "facts" coming from?

    Among other things, the country is known for being the first country among Arab States of the Persian Gulf to allow women the right to vote.

    Women in Qatar vote and may run for public office. Qatar enfranchised women at the same time as men in connection with the 1999 elections for a Central Municipal Council. These elections --- the first ever in Qatar --- were deliberately held on 8 March 1999, International Women's Day.

    Qatar sent women athletes to the 2012 Summer Olympics that began on 27 July in London.

    Sodomy between consenting adults in Qatar is illegal, and subject to a sentence of up to five years in prison. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not covered in any civil rights laws and there is no recognition of same-sex marriages, civil unions or domestic partnerships.

    Human Rights in Qatar []

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @01:36AM (#42493113)
    Editorially independant, and not subject to the equivalent of Rupert Murdoch ringing up and pulling a show off the air halfway through (which he did to one of his TV networks a few years ago).
    The BBC are not immune to pressure - they had to apologise after they dared to question the ridiculous government line that Saddam could bomb London within 45 minutes, and more recently when a news report hinted that a powerful member of the government was on some sort of list with suspected pedophiles (the list was on camera). However how they react to the pressure is not dictated directly by the government. They can be yelled at or starved of funds but they can't be immediately directed to do anything.
  • Re:frosty piss (Score:5, Informative)

    by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @02:05AM (#42493203) Homepage
    It was not anger that resulted in the ambassador's murder in Libya. It was an organized terrorist attack, timed to occur on 9/11. Where are you getting your news from, Mr. Well-Informed?
  • Re:Al Gore (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @02:28AM (#42493291)

    Not that I wouldn't do the same... but it's more of Al Gores "Do as I say, not as I do" nonsense.

    That's same BS as saying the Occupy guys were hypocrites for using apple products - as if they should cripple themselves into ineffectiveness by not using any and all tools available to them. Following the law and simultaneously wanting to change the law for everybody including yourself is not a case of "do as I say, not as I do."

    I wonder if he was the sole passenger on a private jet that took him to sign the deal.

    The jet plane which uses fuel that is priced above market to cover the carbon-offsets he thinks out to be made mandatory? How exactly is that hypocritical?

    If you want to critize the guy, at least be intellectually honest about it - you only make the guy look better if the worst thing you can say about him is a misrepresentation of the truth. What's next? Accusing him of claiming to have invented the internet? []

As of next Tuesday, C will be flushed in favor of COBOL. Please update your programs.