Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Thoughts on the Shuttering of Al Jazeera America

It's no surprise Al Jazeera America is closing down - from the start, the network was botched. They adopted a condescending political tone in line with the standard US media bias, they headed the network with a marketing exec more concerned with public relations than journalism, and senior employee(s?) practiced sexism with impunity.

On top of that, the higher-quality content from Al Jazeera English​ was blocked in order to force current viewers to switch to AJAM. However, there was never an incentive (barring convenience) and AJAM frequently carried AJE programming (increased when AJAM was downsized), while the American network frequently experienced technical and quality problems - sometimes obviously the result of sloppy editing or under-budgeted maintenance.

Journalism-savvy consumers who do not subscribe to cable - which is a deeply entertainment-oriented medium - were completely disregarded. The one consumer species I believe AJAM could have succeeded with was the financial professional. Look to Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg for proof that excellent investigative journalism can be supported by focus on, and support for, the stories and analysis important to the finance sector.

Source: NYT

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