It’s official: Al Jazeera English has come to New York City. At midnight this morning (Or last night. Whichever floats your proverbial boat, really.), the network launched in NYC via Time Warner Cable, with plans to be available through Verizon FiOS soon. And you’ll recall that the network has previously announced that it would like to debut an English-language children’s channel in the near future as well.
Al Anstey, the managing director of Al Jazeera English, told the Huffington Post that the English-language global news outlet’s website receives more traffic from New York than any other city in the world:
New York is a very important city. It’s looking at all directions on the globe and all directions are looking back at New York City. So it’s a truly global city. It’s got a very outward looking, diverse, intelligent audience — obviously an influential audience in some quarters as well. So it’s a key part of our strategy.
We’d like to think that AJE’s important video on the history of one of America’s favorite nitrate-rich meat products might have a little something to do with that success.
AJE has experienced something of a tumultuous relationship with U.S. viewers, to say the least. While Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that Al Jazeera is “winning” the information war the the U.S. is losing and that Al Jazeera English is “real news,” others are skeptical about the network’s political or ideological motives, and Anstey has appeared on CNN to essentially defend his product against accusations of bias.
So, tell us: Will you watch?
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