Sunday, September 22, 2013

Selling Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera America Review: Why Fox and MSNBC Should Worry | New Republic:
...Of course, Al Jazeera had for months been pitching itself as an antidote to the media landscape at large. The channel’s chief executive, Ehab Al Shihabi, described his goal as “fact-based, unbiased and in-depth news,” with “less opinion, less yelling and fewer celebrity sightings.” The network made a show of luring anchors away from other networks—some even out of TV news retirement—with promises of a new frontier in balanced, thorough reporting. And as the station kicked off its first day of broadcasts, it mostly delivered on these promises. The evening’s programming featured hours of Egypt coverage that included a report on church burnings and another about how the protests are morphing from massive town-square demonstrations to small, spontaneous ones. The push to contextualize was apparent in every segment: one anchor offered a breakdown of the history of the Muslim Brotherhood that was unprecedented in its straightforwardness and clarity. The coverage is calm, comprehensive, and far-reaching. But somehow, the overall effect is not quite as different from the rest of cable news as Al Jazeera imagines it...

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