al jazeera

Al Jazeera has made a big bet: They're launching a TV news network in America, and they're not being shy about the investment. As of January, they had posted more than one hundred U.S.-based job positions, and they've snagged big names like former CNN anchor Ali Velshi. Despite a period of post-9/11 suspecion toward the network, its executive director of international operations, Ehab Al Shihabi, says there's now an audience for it in the U.S.

State-owned Qatari television network Al Jazeera is exploring the acquisition of Spain’s La Liga premier soccer league rights in a bid to expand its budding global sports franchise, tweak its business model in a world in which pan-Arab television is on the decline and compensate for mounting criticism of its coverage of popular revolts in the Middle East and North Africa.

January 10, 2013

Numerous pan-Arab rivals sprouted to grab a viewing share with a copycat mix of flashy graphics, daring reportage and sizzling debate. And global media firms such as Bloomberg, News Corporation and CNN have pushed into the Arab market.

In a statement, founders Al Gore and Joel Hyatt said that they are "proud and pleased" by the takeover, noting that the two news agencies share similar goals. Al Jazeera plans to discontinue Current's programming -- including a primetime lineup of liberal hosts -- and replace it with its own broadcasts.

Al Jazeera has expanded in both Arabic and English; on TV and online. But now it’s facing financial pressure, and trying to figure out where growth is most likely. On the news side, it’s recently scaled back some operations, like having one anchor in Qatar as opposed to four around the world. But it’s also expanding into the world of sport.

Yesterday, Al Jazeera English aired a segment discussing the use of “smart power” in the Middle East. Smart power is the combined application of hard and soft power resources to accomplish an objective. It recognizes that neither hard nor soft power strategies are effective on their own in certain situations, and that these elements must complement each other in an effort to achieve a goal.

The priciest public-relations expenditure was the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which by some estimates cost $40 billion. The country has financed roads in Brazil, bridges in Zambia, power grids in Cambodia and mining rigs in Uzbekistan. It established Confucius Institutes for Chinese language and culture on 75 US college campuses. It started CCTV America to raise its profile.

The general motives behind Chan’s expulsion are quite clear. She recently became well known in China watching circles for filing a series of reports that have been quite critical of China’s handling of a variety of domestic issues...In other words, it’s not surprising that Chan and Al Jazeera were not especially popular with the Chinese leadership.