What to Make of Al Jazeera

Evan Plumley
Staff Writer

al-jazeera-america-304On August 20, 2013 a satellite news channel was launched in the United States by the name of, Al Jazeera. With a vision of becoming the most trusted news and all around media network, Al Jazeera sets site to, “inform , inspire, and entertain.” An important question still remains, with a name as foreign as Al Jazeera, are American’s truly willing to listen?

A reoccurring American sentiment, is that America is the greatest country in the world, and all things American are superior. Whether or not this is the thoughts of the majority, it is without doubt the ideology of some. “Honestly, I think it’s bias. It’s anti-Western beliefs, and seems to be pro-Arab. Overall it’s not fair and it is unbalanced reporting,” says a Junior at USC Upstate studying Political Science. Quite contrary to that, Al Jazeera states on their American website that ”Al Jazeera America is the new American news channel that reports unbiased, fact-based and in-depth journalism which gets you closer to the people at the heart of the news.” Al Jazeera, as many are aware, is of Arabic descent. The Qatar based network has many noted names in media including Bob Wheelock, former ABC and NBC senior producer, who acts as senior executive producer of Al Jazeera, and former ABC News Vice President Kate O’Brain as President of the news network. The CEO of Al Jazeera America is Ehab Al Shihabi. Many prominent journalist that work for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times also work duly for Al Jazeera. Although the network’s name is Al Jazeera, world news is covered. One thing can be sure, the staff is well qualified by current media terms.
A survey was taken among a closed group of USC Upstate students where the question, “What is Al Jazeera?” was asked. Seventy-Five percent of students had no idea what Al Jazeera was, much less that it exists. Al Jazeera is taking steps in gathering a large following on social media by being active with breaking news and encouraging viewers to follow their Twitter page and “like” their Facebook page.
The fact stands, that a innovative, expanding, and overall well qualified network team is now present in America. For more information about Al Jazeera visit the American website at, http://america.aljazeera.com/ . Students can also find the network on Twitter @AJAM and on Facebook or students can find Al Jazeera America on YouTube and make his or her own decisions.