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Al-Jazeera to launch English language channel

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Al-Jazeera to launch English language channel
11/01/02 at 23:14:46
Al-Jazeera to launch English language channel in Europe

LONDON, 2 November — The Arabic television news station Al-Jazeera is planning to target the English language market for the first time, a British daily said yesterday.

The station once denounced by the White House for “inciting attacks” against America, whose offices in Kabul were bombed by the US Air Force, now wants to reach millions more viewers in the West, The Times said.

Earlier this year, the 24-hour television channel was made available in Britain on satellite television in its original Arabic.

But, according to the right-of-center Times newspaper, the Qatar-based station will, in the first quarter of 2003, begin dubbing its news, commentaries and current affairs programs into English for non-Arabic speakers.

The English version of Al-Jazeera will be available across Europe, the daily said, and will enable viewers to monitor world events from a Middle Eastern perspective, according to its marketing director Ali Muhammad Kamal.

“First we will do the dubbing. Then based on the feedback we get from the audience in the West, we have a plan to do an English language channel,” Kamal told the paper.

The Times said such a move would be controversial as Al-Jazeera has made a habit of upsetting governments.

“An English-language broadcast could be a powerful force in the propaganda war already heating up in anticipation of a conflict in Iraq,” the paper said, adding that the station already has a well-established bureau in Baghdad.

However, Muslim groups in Britain were divided about the move.

“I will watch it and I think Muslim families around Britain will tune in regularly,” Adnan Masood, spokesman for a British Muslim charity — UK Islamic Mission — told the paper.

“I think it will be something good for Muslims,” he added. “It will give a better perspective. The rest of the media cannot cover as well as Al-Jazeera can because they are there.”

But Avtar Lit, head of the London-based Sunrise Radio, the largest Asian radio station in the world, according to The Times, disagreed.

“The Muslim element of the Asian community may be interested in what Al-Jazeera has to say, but I doubt whether the bulk of the community will be that interested,” Lit was quoted as saying.

“The Muslim element of the Asian community always feels as though the Western media is pro-America and pro-Britain and I suppose they will welcome it.

“They will want to hear another perspective to see if there is any difference, but I think news is news,” he said, according to The Times.

A spokeswoman for the BBC Asian Network told the paper: “Al-Jazeera is a sensationalist television station and they broadcast the views of the most extreme people in the world.”

“Why have they decided to broadcast in English? Are they trying to win support in the West for extremists? It is quite shocking,” she blasted, according to the same source.

Media watchdog, the International Press Institute criticized the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) last month for threatening Al-Jazeera TV. GCC information ministers have threatened to boycott the Doha-based television channel for allegedly slandering them. The five ministers accused Al-Jazeera of insulting and slandering their states during a regular meeting in the Omani capital of Muscat on Oct. 9. (AFP)

11/01/02 at 23:15:12
Re: Al-Jazeera to launch English language channel
11/02/02 at 04:58:15
assalaamu alaikum

I don't know why they bothered posting comments from Avtar Lit - he's a Sikh. And the BBC Asian network pampers to the view of the Hindu/Sikh culture than a Muslim one.

Wa Salaam
Re: Al-Jazeera to launch English language channel
11/02/02 at 11:34:57

I really like that idea, because you can feed back on what other people think is going on, during certain events. I sure can't undestand arabic!  :) , an english channnel will defintiely help. Also, if Americans and other people across the globe, have international satellittes, then maybe they will come to better understand the situations in Palestine and other places.

Re: Al-Jazeera to launch English language channel
11/03/02 at 00:58:26

well, let's say even if al-jazeera is broadcasting in english for propaganda purposes, why can't they? the US is having those dumb commercials for propaganda purposes too in the Islamic world.

anyway, i think the the US and british media are more worried about profits than propaganda. they are ticked off that a rival media has risen up, and to make it worse, from an *muslim* country.

11/03/02 at 01:45:05
Re: Al-Jazeera to launch English language channel
11/03/02 at 09:46:09
Marshallah this will be Excellent!!!
Jazeera is channel I watch for the pictures even though I can't even undertstand the Arabic. To now have it in English will be great.


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