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How Will Al Jazeera America Affect News In The US?

al jazeera america

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A new news network financed by an undemocratic foreign government is about to become a major presence in American television. The network is Al Jazeera America, which will be owned and operated by the Arab and English language news network of the same name.

The official purpose of Al Jazeera America is to put real news back onto television. Al Jazeera will have fewer commercials and four hours of straight news a day. Its publicity people also promise hard hitting documentaries and investigative journalism.

Observers note that Al Jazeera America seems to buck many of the trends of television news. It promises more news and less fluff; there will be fewer talking heads and more straight news coverage.

Owned by a Foreign Government

Al Jazeera is owned by a foundation connected to the government of Qatar, a wealthy Persian Gulf state that is ruled by an absolute monarchy. The foundation is supposedly independent, but it has a lot of money to spend. The foundation spent $500 million to purchase Current TV, a low-rated cable channel, to get spots on cable in major American cities.

At least one major cable provider, Time Warner Cable, has dropped Current TV. It isn’t clear why this is, but Time Warner Cable is part of Time Warner AOL, which owns one of Al Jazeera America’s main potential rivals—CNN.

The Qatar rulers are spending a lot of money on Al Jazeera America; they’re hiring 900 employees and planning to open a dozen news bureaus. The attempt is to recreate the kind of coverage that CNN offered back in its heyday.

Even though it is owned by Qatar, most of the people working at Al Jazeera will be veterans of U.S. network and cable TV news. A lot of the faces will be familiar to viewers even if the brand is not.

A Major News Operation

Al Jazeera America is going to be a major news operation; The New York Times reports that it is costing hundreds of millions of dollars to set up. They’ve hired some big name TV reporters, including Joie Chen.

The question we have to ask is, is this good or bad? That’s difficult to say because we have not seen the finished product yet.

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If Al Jazeera America actually puts some news back on television, that would certainly be a good thing. I for one am sick and tired of so-called news networks that consist of talking heads ranting and raving at each other and celebrity gossip.

Television news in the United States has been seriously dumbed down over the last 10 years or so. If Al Jazeera is actually going to try and show intelligent news, that will certainly be welcome.

Foreign Organization Could Have Vast Power and Influence in the United States

The downside of this is that a foreign organization that is beholden to a foreign government for its financing could get a great deal of influence in the United States. Spending all that money and employing all those journalists will certainly get it influence.

One has to wonder if Al Jazeera’s commitment to ethical, no-holds-barred journalism will extend to the Emirate of Qatar and its allies in the Persian Gulf. Will the network be willing to air stories that make Arabs or Muslims look bad? What about stories critical of Qatar’s influence around the world?

Is It Really Independent

If WikiLeaks exposes corruption in Qatar, will Al Jazeera America run the story? There’s also Qatar’s dependence on the U.S. military for defense. Qatar needs the presence of U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf to protect it from hostile powers like Iran. Qatar also benefits from U.S. military operations against Al Qaeda and other extremists that would presumably destroy its modern capitalist society if given the chance.

So we have to ask if there is an agenda to influence American public opinion and politics here. We have to be very skeptical of Al Jazeera America, but we have to be skeptical of all news organizations.

There is no such thing as an unbiased journalist or a journalist that doesn’t have ulterior motives. The other networks have agendas whether they admit it or not.

A big agenda in recent years has been the commercialization of news. There was a time when networks and TV stations viewed news as an obligation rather than a profit center. In recent years TV stations in particular have gone to great length to try and get news to generate income.

In recent years news networks have started running a lot of programming that looks like infomercials. Journalists and hosts are now promoting products on air during newscasts. Local TV is the worst offender here, but some of the national news broadcasts are getting just as bad.

One interesting problem is what happens if Al Jazeera becomes the place for serious news. A lot of average people will turn to it because they like the idea of seeing news and not hearing about Miley Cyrus or listening to a diatribe about some Obama Administration policy when they try to get news.

That could give Al Jazeera America a huge potential audience to reach. Such an audience might be fairly easy to manipulate, particularly if the vast majority of the programming consists of real news. Propaganda can be quietly inserted among the real news.

However, it might be too late for Al Jazeera America; most news junkies simply turn to their tablet and the Internet for their news fix instead of to television. It might be too late for Al Jazeera America because the kind of educated and literate audiences it is aiming at have already given up on TV news.

Al Jazeera America will be an interesting experiment. Because we have the First Amendment in America, this station has the right to sit at the news table if it so chooses. Whether it wins the trust of the American people is another story.

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  1. I just checked with DishTV to find out if Al Jazeera is there. It is not available only on the 120 channel and below service packages. Anything above that level does include Al Jazeera, so if you subscribe to any of those packages, you will be supporting Al Jazeera. Consider downgrading or dropping your DishTV service if you do not want to support Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera is also a part of DirecTV, Comcast, Xfinity, and Veriozon FiOS. You’ll want to check to see if you’re paying a salary to Al Jazeera or not, depending upon the service package you have chosen.

  2. I really don’t know what they’ll do, but I’m interested to see. They’ll be hard pressed to do much worse than our commercial stations.

    • It’s not the surface content that I worry about. It’s the ability to reach sleeper cells with signals for launching unified attacks that bothers me. Al Jazeera could be the channel of choice by members of Islamoterrorists embedded across America, just waiting for the “go” signal. And, they wouldn’t have to worry about NSA tracking their cell phones or Internet use. It would be a passive signal that would not be apparent to any analyst until after the attack is completed, and even then, it would take a long time to figure out, if anyone is even bothering to watch the fox in the hen house. It seems this rogue government of ours has its sights trained on patriots rather than enemy agents.

  3. In my opinion, this has come into being only for the purpose of spewing propaganda to us. it will come in small subtle packets with the purpose of garnering favor for the owner state and islam in general. it is part of the conversion to Islam of our country. with an Islamic leader in the WH no action by the DOJ would be forthcoming for any violation of US security laws. BETTER LEARN WHERE EAST IS SO YOU CAN KNEEL IN THE CORRECT DIRECTION.

    • When I saw that name “Ragnar Benson” , I recognized it. The very first survival book I ever bought was Live Off The Land in The City and Country. I bought it in April 1989 at a local gun show. I even wrote the month and year down inside the cover. I taped that book up inside and outside with scotch tape holding it together. That book was the primary book that got me interested in prepping. My favorite story in that book is about the wildman of Clearwater , Bill Moreland. I also had the Survivalist Retreat book for many years until it got lost during a move but I always kept up with my favorite Live Off The Land in The City and Country.

  4. Coolhand,
    Great books, but not mine. that’s another Ragnar.
    Keep them, you are going to need the guidance in them in the near future.
    We are entering the end times.

  5. Christine Hancock

    I heard their ratings didn’t do so well.

    • Unfortuanately, ratings are not going to govern whether Al Jazeera remains in the U.S. They have access and they will retain it, just as any other loser channel on cable/satellite has done. The thing that bothers me is that I feel like we have an enemy communications link directed to sleeper cells all over the country. There is no telling what might signal, say, a unified attack on the electric grid, or on other infrastructure. There could be items on a wall of a certain program. Maybe they change the color of something on the set to indicate a launch.

      Imagine if Hitler had had that kind of access to his agents during World War II. Yikes!

  6. Love it…. can’t wait!

    • I agree. It will be good to have some real news again. To the idiots talking about “sleeper cells” and other such garbage, stop hiding behind northern European pseudonyms. We already know who you are…literally trolls.

      • Shows how much you know, Dell. First off, I worked foreign intelligence involving studying images for the very purpose of uncovering embedded signals. They exist, and such things are done routinely.

        Also, my pseudonym is not “northern European,” it is Chinese Mandarin. Go ahead and google translate it. Let me know what you come up with.

        And finally, a troll calling someone a troll is odd, especially one that hides behind a pseudonym taken from the name plate off his computer monitor.

        • Wumingren,
          Good one! ++
          al jizz is nothing more than a propaganda mill for the islumist.
          listen to their HF radio transmissions in English.
          They will be straight at first, then slowly the insertion will start.
          One station was using blurt xmissons between station ident spaces to send coded msgs.

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