Tony Burman writes: American TV journalism loves to reduce the most complicated, nuanced issues into simple, often absurd choices. So, in this spirit of inquiry, let me try this question on you.
Although its debut has already been delayed a few times, the new Al Jazeera America news channel is supposed to launch on U.S. cable and satellite systems in a few months, creating considerable buzz in the American media industry and much anxiety within Al Jazeera, given its immense price tag.
This week, a widely circulated report suggested Al Jazeera intends to ditch its award-winning emphasis on international news and instead try to be “American through and through” to curry public and political favour. According to the story, drawn from interviews with my former colleagues at Al Jazeera: “It will, in other words, operate much like CNN (though the employees say they won’t be as sensational) and Fox News (though they say they won’t be as opinion-driven).” [Continue reading…]