Are US viewers "starting to switch over to foreign channels"?

Posted: 03 Feb 2010   Print   Send a link
"Television viewers in the United States seeking international news are starting to switch over to foreign channels to learn what is happening in the outside world, media watchers here say. 'They are comparable to CNN,' said Steve Randall, about television news channels such as Russia Today, Al Jazeera, CCTV of China, and the Press TV of Iran, which are now being watched by millions of people in the United States via cable and dish networks. ... Randall, a senior analyst at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a media watchdog group, thinks many people are turning to foreign media outlets because there is so little coverage devoted to foreign affairs on U.S. network and cable television news." Haider Rizvi, Inter Press Service, 29 January 2010. Let's not get carried away here. Only Al Jazeera, of the mentioned channels, is "comparable to CNN." (CNN International, Al Jazeera English, and BBC World News are the big three of the global English-language news channels.) Access to the international channels on U.S. cable and satellite systems is still limited, and audiences range from small (for BBC World), to very small (for the rest). I'm sure Press TV is on no US cable system, so access to that channel would be limited to internet video stream.