A New Al Jazeera English Launch

The launch of Al Jazeera English comes after the tenth anniversary of the launch of Al jazeera Arabic. Even in Arabic broadcasting Al Jazzeera depended on the management of experts from the existing broadcasting corporations, especially the BBC.

Al jazeera Arabic has reached great popularity in the Arab world because it was the only channel that presented the news in the western style, especially live debates where apparently opposite views on matters in a specific Arab country or on a general issue.

But despite its huge popularity, as a broadcasting station, it failed to produce 100% of its programmes. Many documentaries are acquired from other stations like the BBC.

The Al jazeera English is sure to be different from the Al Jazeera Arabic. This has a one-type audience which is in majority united by the same attitudes concerning Arab causes like conflict in the Middle East.

Al Jazeera English seeking audience around the world must have a different approach to the news presenting more balanced news, especially about the situation in Lebanon, Iraq and Israel.

But it will need a long time to reach English broadcasting qualities of prominent channels like the BBC with its 80 years long experiences in broadcasting to the world.

Al Jazeera Arabic had to use in its launch journalists from the BBC Arabic service like Faissal Al Kassim and from the Voice of America. Now the English Channel is using ex-journalists from the BBC and CNN.

Al Jazeera as a corporation still needs to make 100% of its programme. For the imported programmes it presented translated in Arabic, it should have respect for the viewers by telling them their sources and not the Arabic names of those who had translated the original version.

Al Jazeera English success will be measured by the responses it will have. Let’s hope it won’t depend on dramatic media by broadcasting tapes of “wanted” figures and focussing just on opposition leaders and thinkers to enlarge its audience. After all its Arabic programme “Opposite Direction” has gained popularity because it depends on shouting at and interrupting the addressee rather than listening and responding calmly.

On a final note:

Al Jazeera can have credibility as a neutral broadcasting corporation when it treats its patron Qatar in its report as it treats as countries when it comes to social and political problems. I have a tip for al Jazeera. It can make a report at least about the immigrants living in Qatar, especially the Asians. But it won’t. For it Qatar is a sacred cow. Of course it won’t bite the hand that feeds it. It can make stinging reports only about the rest of the world.

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