Kim's Recent Essays...
US International Broadcasting: Success Requires Independence and Consolidation.
In International Broadcasting, Even the Static Must be Credible.
America Calling China: A Strategy for International Broadcasting.
The Guardian, 2 Jan 2013: "Al-Jazeera's reach in the US has struggled to move beyond the few large metropolitan areas, where some people can watch Al-Jazeera English. The network's managing director, Tony Burman, in 2010 blamed a 'very aggressive hostility' from the Bush administration for reluctance among cable and satellite companies to show the network. Al-Jazeera has attracted respect for its ability to build a serious news product in a short time. But there may be a culture clash at the network. Dave Marash, a former ABC Nightline reporter who worked for Al-Jazeera in Washington, said he left the network in 2008 in part because he sensed an anti-US bias there."
Wall Street Journal, Speakeasy, 2 Jan 2013, reprinting memo to staff from Current co-founder Joel Hyatt: "As you may know, Al Jazeera is funded by the government of Qatar, which is the United States’ closest ally in the Gulf Region, and is where the United States bases its Middle East Air Force operations. ... While considering this decision, I spent a week in Doha, Qatar, where Al Jazeera is headquartered, and I am pleased to tell you that I could not have been more impressed with their operation. First of all, they are bringing large-scale resources to journalism – something which we have not been able to do. Al Jazeera has more than 80 bureaus around the world, and is seen in more than 260 million homes in 130 countries. Al Jazeera has a staff of over 4000 people, including 400 journalists. Its journalists hail from more than 50 countries, with every conceivable nationality and religion represented on its professional team. Al Jazeera is a major global media player. ... All of this is compelling, but what really convinced Al and me that Al Jazeera would be a great home for the people of Current was their publicly stated Values and Core Capabilities. Their mission includes the following: Diversity ('bringing stories from the underreported communities, societies and cultures from across the globe'), Journalistic Integrity ('committed to the uncompromising pursuit of truth and the ideals of journalism'), and A Voice for the Voiceless ('promoting the basic human right of the freedom of expression for people everywhere'). Al Jazeera is planning to invest significantly in building 'Al Jazeera America,' a network focused on international news for the American audience. Al and I will both serve on the Advisory Board of Al Jazeera America, and we look forward to helping build an important news network."
New York Times, Media Decoder, 2 Jan 2012, Brian Stelter: "Al Jazeera did not disclose the purchase price, but people with direct knowledge of the deal pegged it at around $500 million, indicating a $100 million payout for Mr. Gore, who owned 20 percent of Current. Mr. Gore and his partners were eager to complete the deal by Dec. 31, lest it be subject to higher tax rates that took effect on Jan. 1, according to several people who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. But the deal was not signed until Wednesday. ... Going forward, the challenge will be persuading Americans to watch — 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,"' said Philip Seib, the author of 'The Al Jazeera Effect.' 'Al Jazeera has to override that by providing quality news.' ... News channels financed by Britain, China and Russia are especially hungry for American cable deals. To date, the BBC has had the most success; its BBC World News channel is now available in about 25 million homes thanks to a deal struck last month with Time Warner Cable. But the takeover of Current brings Al Jazeera to the front of the line. In recent weeks, Mr. Gore personally lobbied the distributors that carry Current on the importance of Al Jazeera, according to people briefed on the talks who were not authorized to speak publicly. Distributors can sometimes wiggle out of their carriage deals when channels change hands. Most consented to the sale, but Time Warner Cable did not, Mr. Hyatt told employees."
Huffington Post, 2 Jan 2013, Michael Calderone: "'Time-Warner cable shows abject political and journalistic cowardice by dropping Current because of Al Jazeera deal,' tweeted Dan Gilmor, a technology writer and founding director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University."
Tampa Bay Times, 2 Jan 2013, Eric Deggans: "For years, I and other critics have argued that Al Jazeera, the newschannel founded and funded by the government of Qatar, has earned a prominent place in America's array of cable news outlets, thanks to their incisive coverage of the Arab Spring revolts and war in the Middle East. But even though Al Jazeera now has a foothold in the U.S. market following its purchase of Al Gore's floundering Current TV cable channel, many Tampa Bay area TV viewers may not get to see the America-based outlet anytime soon. Current TV will be dropped by the area's biggest cable TV provider, Bright House Networks according to spokesman Joe Durkin, who emailed: 'Our agreement with Current TV has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service.' Bob Elek, a spokesman for the area's other big cable TV company, Verizon FIOS, declined to comment on whether it would continue carrying whatever Current TV becomes, saying the situation was under review."
Fox News Opinion, 3 Jan 2012, Dan Gainor: "How much does presidential election loser Al Gore hate conservatives? Enough that he wouldn’t sell his little-watched Current TV to conservative Glenn Beck, but he would sell it to anti-American terror mouthpiece Al Jazeera for half a billion dollars. ... Al Jazeera, known as the network of the Arab street, is also known for taking anti-American, anti-Israel and pro-terror positions."
Al Jazeera, 2 Jan 2013: "The new U.S.-based news channel will be the latest addition to the Al Jazeera Media Network which consists of: Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Arabic, Al Jazeera Documentary, Al Jazeera Balkans, Al Jazeera Sport, Al Jazeera Mubasher, Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr (Egypt Live), Al Jazeera Mobile, the English and Arabic Al Jazeera web sites Al Jazeera.net and Al Jazeera.com, and supported by the Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Center, the Al Jazeera Center for Studies, and the Al Jazeera Public Liberties and Human Rights Department. As part of the Network’s expansion it is also planning to launch Al Jazeera Turk for the Turkish-speaking region in 2013."
Gigaom, 3 Jan 2013, Janko Roettgers: "Cord cutters won’t be able to tune into Al Jazeera America, the new cable news network that was announced Wednesday in conjunction with the news that Al Jazeera has purchased Al Gore’s Current.tv. At least not live, anyway: An Al Jazeera America spokesperson confirmed Thursday that the network won’t be live streaming its programming online. ... Cable TV providers don’t like to compete with free online distribution, and instead want content to be made available only to authenticated subscribers."