|Al Jazeera||al Jazeera (Arabic: الجزيرة literally "The Island") (also Aljazeera or JSC Jazeera Satellite Channel is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Initially launched as an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel, Al Jazeera has since expanded into a network with several outlets, including the Internet and specialty TV channels in multiple languages. Al Jazeera is accessible in several world regions.
The original Al Jazeera channel's willingness to broadcast dissenting views, for example on call-in shows, created controversies in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. The station gained worldwide attention following the September 11, 2001 attacks, when it was the only channel to cover the war in Afghanistan live from its office there.
In the 2000s, the network was praised by the Index on Censorship for circumventing censorship and contributing to the free exchange of information in the Arab world, and by the Webby Awards, who nominated it as one of the five best news web sites, along with BBC News, National Geographic and The Smoking Gun. It was also voted by brandchannel.com readers as the fifth most influential global brand behind Apple, Google, Ikea and Starbucks. In 2011 Salon.com noted Al Jazeera's coverage of the 2011 Egyptian protests as superior to that of the American news media, while U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also opined that that network's news coverage was more informative, and less opinion-driven than American journalism.
Al Jazeera launched an English language channel, originally called Al Jazeera International, in 2006. Among its staff were journalists hired from ABC's Nightline and other top news outfits. Josh Rushing, a former media handler for CENTCOM during the Iraq war, agreed to provide commentary; Sir David Frost was also on board. In an interesting technical feat, the broadcast of the new operation was handed off between bases in Doha, London, Washington, D.C., and Kuala Lumpur on a daily cycle.
The new English language venture faced considerable regulatory and commercial hurdles in the North America market for its perceived sympathy with extremist causes. At the same time, others felt Al Jazeera's competitive advantage lay in programming in the Arabic language. There were hundreds of millions of potential viewers among the non-Arabic language speaking Muslims in Europe and Asia, however, and many others who might be interested in seeing news from the Middle East read by local voices. If the venture panned out, it would extend the influence of Al Jazeera, and tiny Qatar, beyond even what had been achieved in the station's first decade. In an interesting twist of fate, the BBC World Service was preparing to launch its own Arabic language station in 2007.
|Launched||1 November 1996|
|Broadcast area||World Wide|
|Tags: aljazeera, al Jazeera, news, middle east, africa, asia, asia pacific, europe, sports, business, opinion, spotlight, features, programmes|