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October 28, 2013

Al-Jazeera America Over All Other News Networks

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The good news is that Al-Jazeera America (AJAM), a television news network that started broadcasting on Aug. 20, 2013 financed by the oil-rich Arab state of Qatar (pictured above is chief of state Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani), so far has been superior to the satellite-cable news channels and over-the-air networks in terms of substantive news reports and analyses. This is especially so concerning those dealing with the Middle East. The bad news is the same: Al-Jazeera America's coverage appears to be deeper than that of its TV competitors, meaning Islamist inspired anti-American, anti-Israel propaganda might subtly or otherwise creep in to what the new channel offers American viewers.

In fact, this has already happened as reported by CAMERA here and here. These examples suggest a continuation of the type of sometimes blatant, sometimes more subtle anti-Israel propaganda film aired by AJAM’s predecessor and sister network Al-Jazeera English.

The seemingly superior news coverage can be attributed largely to these factors:
• A number of skilled experienced hosts and a large roster of skilled, experienced on-site correspondents reporting and conducting interviews.
• News reports not interrupted or foreshortened by having to give way to frequent and at times lengthy commercials as is the case with the other news networks.

As we've noted previously, Al-Jazeera should be asked to answer this question: Why would Qatar’s rulers – who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to launch Al-Jazeera America – want to compete with other American cable networks such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC and over-the-air networks including ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS? To give Americans yet another choice for television news, or to gain a platform for Qatari foreign policy?

Posted by MK at October 28, 2013 05:37 PM

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