Al Jazeera Scoops Up Current TV

By David Radd

Posted January 7, 2013

Al Jazeera has announced that it is acquiring Current TV. The plan will be to shut down Current and start an English-language channel focused more on America, which will be available in more than 40 million homes with newscasts emanating from both New York and Doha, Qatar.

The challenge will be persuading Americans to watch, hard considering the number of 24 news stations and the stereotypes about the channel that persist to this day. “There are still people who will not watch it, who will say that it’s a ‘terrorist network,’ ” said Philip Seib, the author of The Al Jazeera Effect. “Al Jazeera has to override that by providing quality news.”

“There’s a major hole right now that Al Jazeera can fill. And that is providing an alternative viewpoint to domestic news, which is very parochial,” said Cathy Rasenberger, a cable consultant who has worked with Al Jazeera on distribution issues in the past. “[However,] there is a limited amount of interest in international news in the United States.”

Source: New York Times


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