Al-Jazeera Goes English; Really Really English

I haven’t yet watched Al-Jazeera’s English channel and I’m unlikely to for quite some time since it’s not being distributed in North America (or else the terrorists would win). But I got to watch the promo video on YouTube which I thought was very well put together. However it’s telling that everyone seems to be a foreigner i.e. a non-Arab. I half-expected western educated, British/American accented Arab journalists presenting the news in English. I’m also wondering whether it will adopt a similar stance on situations that the original Al-Jazeera takes. Or will information be spun in order to address a predictably global audience as opposed to what the Arab masses get to hear. The Al-Jazeera websites tend to be similar in nature and content but television is another medium and still probably (in my opinion) more powerful with regards to delivering the news. In any case, with all the heavy English accents that the region has not seen since the good ol’colonial times, the promo kind of freaked me out.

The channel is also broadcasting from Washington. In the U.S. many Americans if not most, are under the impression that Al-Jazeera is Al-Queda’s official news agency, simply because Al-Jazeera is never mentioned in the states unless the words “Al-Queda” and “tape” are in the same sentence. With all this in mind, it’s kind of ironic that the new channel will not have an American audience, but I’m inclined to believe that even if it did, it would probably not change many minds at all. At least no more than Al-Hurra did for the Arab world.


  • Or will information be spun in order to address a predictably global audience as opposed to what the Arab masses get to hear.

    That’s a good question. Will they refer to suicide bombers as “martyrs” in their English broadcasts?

    Hey, I’ve got satellite dishes. Will the English A-J be available for free on one of them in North America?

  • Let there be light. light will attract pesky insects and repel some rodents.

    finally, a professional Arab news outlet that will counter CNN, Fox, and Sky.

  • Can they get Rudi Bakhtiar to do the newscasts? The only reason I watch FOX now is to catch a glimpse of her. Damn you CNN for getting rid of her!

  • [quote comment=”17636″]
    Hey, I’ve got satellite dishes. Will the English A-J be available for free on one of them in North America?[/quote]

    I’m answering my own question: IA-5@97W TP 16, 11999 H. It’s listed on as “Aljazeera International promo”. It’s unencrypted so far.

  • Nas even Arab journalists got perfect accents (flawless)

    So how does it look? It’s BBC but with Aljazeera’s logo and more Israeli officials, Shimon Perez is on at the moment.

    It looks that it won’t be anything near the Arabic Al-Jazeera. Of course it’s too soon to tell. It won’t be anything near the Arabic ch. as it has to do a lot with foreign and Western-Arabs adopting objectivity and self disciplinary in reporting the news.
    Ok it’s really too soon to make a judgement on the Al-Queda news network in English

  • Salaam,

    I think it very intelligent on their part to have a foriegn staff of reporters…it would add to the diversity and credibility… of the channel…there are reporters from different countries, Asians and Blacks…. not only westerners, hence forming an international body which would reflect an INTRENATIONAL view……..very smart indeed!

  • As much as I don’t like Arabic Al Jazeera’s extreme method of reporting on the Middle East I have so much hope for this channel. I think it is safe to say this IS the first channel of its kind, one that truely attempts to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western news reporting.

    I really wish them all the success and I really hope that it meets and exceeds all positive expectations.

  • I am glad we finally have a truly international Arab News network to counter the “least” trusted name in news-that is CNN. Americans really need a second and third and… source of news instead of being fed through American news outlets. On a second note, the promotional video showed mainly scenes from inside the studio. I am hoping that they will be prodcasting in English live at the events’ location. Finally, I hope Arabs would stop crying because “Aljazeera is trying to damage the brotherly relationship between Arabs.” Arab governments badly need a lesson in freedom of speech.


  • we have it here in Asia, shown live every evening. thank god I don’t have to watch the live translated ones from arabic to my mother tongue language.

    What do i think of it? There are still some rough edges which need to be smoothen, but so far it’s good. If you watch CNN, you would have known, heard or watched veronica pedrosa. She’s one of the newsreaders based in kuala lumpur.

    I’m glad there’s an alternative media, a voice from the arab world. Some of the news which is not aired by the rest cable network.

  • “Current Affairs observers in US may regret what they and their compatriots are missing out from AJE the new initiative in global news. AL Jazeera English’s content is packaged with meaningful, real life and pragmatic issues.

    Take Amanda Palmer’s program “48”. What she and her crew have accomplished in Damascus in just 48 hours is amazing in terms of richness. They packed delicate yet diverse issues such as inter-faith harmony, womenâ??s life, private entrepreneurs and youth culture in Damascus. It was miles ahead of what a viewer can find in a similar monthly program elsewhere (e.g. CNNâ??s Inside the Middle East). So is her “Fabulous Picture Show”, a treasure chest of what’s hot in the new media from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic and beyond.

    Other viewers will come up with many pleasant surprises if they indulge in viewing a program or two on AJE. “

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