Al Jazeera International makes Fast Company’s front cover

Cov104

Fast Company magazine (one of my favorite mags out there) is running an AMAZING cover story (subscription required) about Al Jazeera International, the global English language news channel which is to be launched soon. Although the story focuses on Josh Rushing, the US Marine spokesman who quit his job to become AJI’s washington anchor, it explores the various challenges and the potential media upheaval the channel might cause.

AJI will, in essence, be running a superfunded media lab to test a revolutionary proposition: Can a channel that employs the language of global commerce—English—but consciously eschews its natural Anglo-American worldview, become a new transnational cultural and economic force? In other words, once each region of the world can step to the mike on an equal footing and tell its story through the lens of its own audience, the world will be that much flatter. Remote parts of China, Indonesia, and the Indian subcontinent, for example, will be able to get their world news—and their advertising and, presumably, their actual products—filtered not by London (via the BBC) and Atlanta (on CNN) but by a new, independent, global vision. No one’s saying that’s AJI’s explicit objective. But its success—or failure—will make a powerful statement about the mood of the world and about America’s place in it.

As the May launch deadline looms, the channel is generating some major buzz. The New York Times is also running a major story on AJI.


3 Responses to “Al Jazeera International makes Fast Company’s front cover”

  1. Amanda Says:

    Samer brought this one home from his office last week or so. Ok, it was an interesting article, but I wouldn’t go so far to call it AMAZING.

    Very interesting that this Rushing dude is onboard. But it still looks like it’s going to be a HUGE challenge to get US distribution (and the US needs Al Jazeera more than anywhere else, I’d say.)

  2. Toujan Says:

    I did not read the article, but I agree with Amanda…
    The challenge is for Al Jazeera to find its way into the homes of the Western people, more specifically, of course, the US.

    Canada is, sadly, catching up with the US on the “war on terror” front. Al Jazeera is illegal in Canada, and our newly elected Conservative government set precidence by being the first country to announce the withdrawal of its annual 25-million-dollar aid to Palestine!

    Looking forward :)

  3. John Saber Says:

    In response to the previous post, Al-Jazeera is not ‘illega’ per se in Canada, however the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Television Commission) has placed major restrictions on it before it can be distributed, mainly being that any distributor must monitor it 24×7 and black out any ‘inflammatory’ remarks. No other channel available for distribution in Canada has such a restriction and that demand is the only reason why distributors have not taken up the channel—it would be putting all the responsibility for the channel’s content on their heads.

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