Al Jazeera in English Returns to U.S. with Digital News Channel

Nick Vivarelli

ROME — After shuttering its money-losing Al Jazeera America cable news channel in April, Al Jazeera Media Network is resuming service in English digitally in U.S. homes.

The Al Jazeera English news channel is being made available as a live stream for free for American viewers through its website and other platforms.

Al Jazeera reaches more than 305 million households in over 160 countries. But since the Al Jazeera America shutdown on April 30, U.S. viewers could not access its English language news coverage.

Al Jazeera English — which has U.S. bureaus in Washington, New York, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles — is now being carried in the U.S. as a live stream by Amazon Fire TV and Video; Android TV; Apple TV; Google Chrome and Play; iTunes; LG; Netflix; Panasonic; Roku, and Samsung.

Additional in-depth digital news content is also being featured.

The move was expected. When the Qatar-based media company shut down Al Jazeera America, almost three years after its high profile launch, they said they would expand its international digital service in the U.S., given that consumers increasingly use mobile devices to get their news.

“In a world seemingly beset by rising bigotry and extremism, Al Jazeera English provides a wider scope of information, insight and understanding. We are delighted to bring this independent and thought-provoking content to the U.S. market,” Giles Trendle, acting Managing Director of Al Jazeera English, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Despite Al Jazeera’s well-established credentials as a global news organization — its English-language reports have won Peabody and International Emmy Awards — the outlet has an image problem in the U.S., where the brand is associated with Islamist terrorism, a handicap that contributed to the decision to shut down Al Jazeera America.

Indeed, after Al Jazeera burnished its reputation during the Arab Spring, the separately run Al Jazeera Arabic has been linked to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. This contributed to it losing some standing in the Arab world, and some of that negative perception rubbed off on Al Jazeera English.

But Al Jazeera Acting Director General Mostefa Souag insisted that the English service is perceived around the world as providing “an unfiltered perspective.”

“Al Jazeera Media Network news platforms [are] wholeheartedly committed to the digital revolution of media and bringing our pioneering journalism to people wherever they are and whenever they want it,” Souag said.

 

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