PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, March 25, 2013

‘Al Jazeera America’ Faces Cynical Public

Al Jazeera English Channel staff prepare for the broadcast in Doha news room in Qatar on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2006. (Hamid Jalaudin/AP)

Al Jazeera English Channel staff prepare for the broadcast in Doha news room in Qatar on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2006. (Hamid Jalaudin/AP)

Al Jazeera is expanding its reach to more than 40 million American homes with the upcoming news channel Al Jazeera America.

Right now, the Qatar-based television network is only seen in a few cities, reaching just five million households.

But the network’s January purchase of Al Gore’s Current TV gave it access to a much wider audience.

The network plans to expand to about 200 journalists, and will set up a newsroom in New York City.

But the American public is skeptical of a network backed by the government of Qatar, and Time Warner dropped Al Jazeera from its lineup when the sale was announced.

Al Gore defended the sale by saying the network would raise the bar of American journalism.

And Traci Griffith, a journalism professor at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont, said that she watches the network to gain another perspective.

She lives in one of the few cities where Al Jazeera currently airs, and she says she doesn’t notice an anti-American bias.

But her students are still wary.

“I think they have been conditioned to be skeptical of most of what comes out of the Arab world because of the media that they consume here within the United States,” she said.

But will those students apply for a job with Al Jazeera? The network posted 170 job openings and has already received 18,000 applicants.

Griffith said that in this job market, some students would likely take a job there.

“There are a few of our students who have an international perspective, who would be interested in working for a news outlet like Al Jazeera,” Griffith said. “Oftentimes, it’s students that have lived overseas or traveled overseas and have exposure to media that isn’t just U.S. media.”

The new Al Jazeera America is slated to go on the air in July.

Guest:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

July 27 7 Comments

U.S. Wind Power On Course To Grow Big

The Department of Energy says wind power is poised to become one of the country's largest sources of energy.

July 27 2 Comments

Alaskans Still Cleaning Up Reminders Of Japan Tsunami

Crews are picking up and bagging tons of debris that were swept out to sea when the tsunami hit in 2011.

July 24 11 Comments

U.S. Takes Home Gold… In Math

For the first time since 1994, six American teens won the International Mathematical Olympiad.

July 24 3 Comments

Food Innovators Develop Seaweed That Tastes Like Bacon

Researchers say a fast-growing new form of a seaweed tastes like bacon when fried.