US college students want internships at Al Jazeera English, even if they can't watch it on cable TV.

Posted: 17 Feb 2011   Print   Send a link, 12 Feb 2011, Kristen Saloomey: "As a correspondent for Al Jazeera English in New York, the questions follow me wherever I go: Where can I see Al Jazeera? How can I watch it? Suddenly my inbox is full of college students looking for internships. Several reporters have approached me (me? I'm supposed to be the one asking the questions!) to do a story about what is keeping our broadcast off American airwaves."

Philadelphia Business Journal, 11 Feb 2011, Peter Key: "Verizon Communications Inc.’s Fios TV service doesn’t include Al Jazeera English in its channel lineup, according to Lee Gierczynski, a spokesman for the New York-based company. Verizon receives requests for many channels, including Al Jazeera English, and will continue to evaluate adding channels to its Fios TV lineup based on the requests and other factors, Gierczynski said in an e-mail."

Deutsche Welle, 10 Feb 2011, Michael Knigge: "[S]ince Americans and US media are generally regarded as inwardly focused, the Qatar-based network is unlikely to become a serious competitor for domestic outlets."

Boston Globe, 14 Feb 2011, Juliette Kayyem: "AJE’s battle with the cable carriers is major news in the Middle East. Not carrying the network sends a message to the Arab world about America’s willingness to accept information, unfiltered, from the very region we spend so much time talking about."

American Thinker, 14 Feb 2011, Ed Lasky: "Al Jazeera is filled with anti-American propaganda. It is also awash in anti-Semitism. The material broadcast stokes terror and violence. Why would the person who Barack Obama appointed to be the Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, Juliette Kayyem, advocate American cable companies carry the channel-a channel that cannot help but inflame tensions and anger and one that is not known for unbiased accuracy." Cited by Fox Nation, 14 Feb 2011.

AlterNet, 14 Feb 2011, Peter Hart: "According to some media industry analysts, cable operators send Fox almost 60 cents per subscriber per month, whether the subscribers are Fox viewers or not. Do the math, and you begin to see how much money they're making. Fox is already more expensive than CNN and MSNBC, and they're warning that they want a raise from the cable companies this year. So you can't watch Al-Jazeera English on cable, but part of your monthly check to the cable company goes to support the news brought by Rupert Murdoch. Think of it as a Fox News tax."

Indiana Daily Student (Indiana University), 13 Feb 2011: "We say it’s stupid to block a reputable network based in an area of the world from which Americans want information and to which American reporters can’t get good access. The BBC has an international reputation for top-notch news reporting, and now we have BBC America. Al Jazeera is the best network in the Middle East. Doesn’t it make sense that we get Al Jazeera English?"

The New Yorker, News Desk blog, 13 Feb 2011, Will Oremus and Natalie Holt: "There was euphoria on the streets of New York’s Little Egypt district, in Queens, on Friday after Hosni Mubarak announced his resignation. People waved flags, honked car horns, and hugged strangers. Inside El Khayam Café, on Steinway Street, customers cheered and chanted as they watched the news on Al Jazeera and Dream TV, an Egyptian satellite station."

GigaOM, 14 Feb 2011, Janko Roettgers: "Fortunately, Al-Jazeera has embraced the Internet, and the network is now available on connected devices, mobile phones and a number of websites. Check out our list of twelve ways to watch Al-Jazeera English."

Boston Globe, 15 Feb 2011, Laura Collins-Hughes: "Qatar-based news network Al Jazeera, which reportedly hopes its coverage of the turmoil in Egypt will help build an American audience, can count Linda Powell among its latest devotees. The New York actress, in Cambridge to appear in the American Repertory Theater's current production of Sophocles's 'Ajax,' is the daughter of former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, who turned her on to the network. She extolled Al Jazeera's virtues recently in an interview, an edited excerpt of which follows. POWELL: I've actually been only watching Al Jazeera. Because, like, the coverage from Egypt is so interesting. My parents have it on the television in D.C. because it's on their cable network, and my dad's been watching it for years. And he's like, 'You should watch Al Jazeera. It's really in-depth coverage.'"

Investor's Business Daily, 14 Feb 2011, editorial: "Imagine a Cold War president relying on Pravda for news. Or CNN and ABC vets rushing to work for the propaganda organ. Insane, right? So why are they swooning over Al Jazeera? Al Jazeera is the rabidly anti-American Arab TV network based in Qatar and bankrolled by an absolute Islamic monarchy. ... Al Jazeera is the enemy. Yet its English-language affiliate is getting a traitorously warm welcome in the U.S."

The New Yorker, News Desk blog, 16 Feb 2011, Nancy Franklin: "There’s a need for a good international-news channel in this country—imagine being able to turn on the television at any time of day and see what’s going on around the world, and to find out more thoroughly what our own country is doing, and, just as important, to be able to educate ourselves about issues that didn’t necessarily involve the United States. Wouldn’t that be better than repeats of Piers Morgan’s CNN talk show and the late-night lineup of slammer shows on MSNBC? ... Some people I know were offended by the attention that CNN’s Anderson Cooper got when he was roughed up while reporting in Cairo. ... Cooper returned to the States irate, delivering his reports with too much fire about Mubarak’s dictatorship. ... His heated approach became a distraction, and he became less useful to viewers, who didn’t, at that moment, need to see a major news reporter undergoing professional growing pains. ... Meanwhile, on Al Jazeera English, all was straightforward professionalism born of expertise and perspective—as you might expect, since most of the reporters covering the story are from the region or of Middle Eastern descent and have also had some international education and training."

Kansas City Star, 15 Feb 2011, Aaron Barnhart: "[B]etween 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. weekdays no fewer than 18 channels draw hash marks (<<), meaning that fewer than 0.1 percent of households that receive that channel are viewing it at those hours. The hash-mark channels include TV Guide Channel, Golf Channel and, sorry to say, BBC America. ... [W]ith help from Adgate, I compiled a list of what I’m calling Cable’s Least Wanted, 10 channels that have been in existence at least three years — in most cases, much longer — and their prime-time nightly average for fourth quarter 2010. [list] ... It’s worth asking why they continue to take up bandwidth in tens of millions of homes. It’s certainly worth asking if you’re one of the 7 million Americans who recently had to stream the unrest in Egypt on Al Jazeera English because it wasn’t on your cable system."

CounterPunch, 16 Feb 2011, Steve Breyman: "The uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt (and the others boiling in Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere) happened despite not because of US foreign policy. Americans are the only people in the world not to know this--thanks to the US media’s internalization of the goals of US foreign policy. Cable companies do not carry Al Jazeera English even though the President himself was reportedly tuned in."

AlterNet, 15 Feb 2011, Tom Engelhardt: "Anyone can stream Al Jazeera English on a home computer and be a jump ahead of the CIA any day of the week."

Charlotte Observer, 16 Feb 2011, Professors Shawn Powers and Mohammed el-Nawawy: "While it is impossible to know how the tone of political discourse and attitudes toward foreign policies would be different if Americans had better access to AJE, it is hard to argue against the benefits of less dogmatic political discourse and more deliberation. And more critical, intelligent opinions on key questions of U.S. foreign policy wouldn't hurt either."

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