Al Jazeera English Now In Talks With Comcast and Other American Cable Outlets

About time. This was from

Al Anstey, managing director of Al Jazeera English, is holding talks with US cable providers about carrying the network in the US for the first time.

According to a release from Al Jazeera, the first meeting is scheduled for today in New York with Comcast. The Qatar-based broadcaster said that the meetings are the result of a “surge of interest” in Al Jazeera English following its coverage of the Egypt protests.

The Al Jazeera English website claims to have seen a 2500 per cent increase in visitors following its widely praised coverage of the protests in Egypt, despite the network having its Cairo bureau shut down and broadcasting licence revoked.

“We’re very grateful for all the support and appreciation we’ve been receiving,” Anstey said in a release.

“Clearly the demand is there for Al Jazeera and people want to see us on their screens.”

The meetings between Al Jazeera English and US cable companies follow a campaign by the broadcaster – and calls from figures such as media professor Jeff Jarvis – for US cable providers to support the service. Jarvis argued in a blog post that AJE’s online-only stream “is not going to have the same impact – political and education impact – that putting AJE on the cable dial would have”.

The State Department shouldn’t be the only ones watching the Al Jazeera English feed. However, when Al Jazeera English finally does arrive on our cable screens, we’re going to get hit with what is current and popular in the Arab World, as well as news, opinion and public affairs programming. Al Jazeera means “The Island” in Arabic, but it is Americans who have been on an island, I feel. We need to know what Arabs and Muslims are doing and thinking, and we need it presented as unfiltered as possible, even if it makes certain people nervous, particularly those who formulate and support American foreign policy or want to gin up animosity and hatred.  The Arab World is not homogeneous, or a monolith,  and everyone of these people, from Turkey (who are not Arabs but who are Muslims and speak Arabic) to Yemen, has an opinion.

Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes are going to have their hands full on Faux Noise trying to twist facts around when the evidence is available at the click of a remote.

~ by blksista on February 22, 2011.

%d bloggers like this: