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caliwxdude

Al Jazeera buying Current TV?

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Al Jazeera English airs at 8am and 7pm Eastern on MHz Worldview. Some PBS stations - including WCVE here in Richmond - has MHz Worldview on a digital subchannel (.2 or .3) and it also streams online. I wonder if the channel will still air their newscasts after Tuesday.

 

I'm upset that AJE will no longer stream online in the US. That sucks!

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(Bolded: The weird thing is that AJE's feed is still available via Livestation right now. I'd be surprised if it's still there by Tuesday. Plus, there are other add-ons on Chrome & Firefox that I use to get the AJE live stream on YouTube, so not all hope is lost.)

 

...

 

Finally, there will be international news on AJAM. Will it be AJE? Unfortunately not. Does this mean embracing the current cable "news" model of little to no international news whatsoever? I highly doubt it. I will be watching AJAM on Tuesday; if it lives up to the hype, I'll be watching regularly; if not, I'll just return to AJE via my add-on/Livestation methods. Their schedule seems quite promising, I'll give them that.

 

* Middle East & North Africa

 

I suppose I can maybe understand the rationale as to why they closed off the free stream to U.S. viewers, as even CNN and other U.S. networks don't stream for free without proof of a cable subscription. What I object to is also that most of the AJE videos on YouTube have now been geoblocked. That part makes no sense.

 

I also forgot to mention that I am a Livestation premium subscriber, and I don't think that the stream that I pay for (albeit not through a proper cable company) should be going away either. I emailed Livestation support asking if the premium stream of AJE would be going away as well; their response was either very cryptic, or it sounds like AJ has kept Livestation in the dark as to what they want to do. So it's anyone's guess whether I and the other Livestation premium customers will still get AJE come Tuesday.

 

W/r/t/ international content, from what I've read about it in the Guardian and Empire anchor Marwan Bishara's scathing internal email, it sounds like there won't be that much international content, and AJAM will even have separate correspondents in the cities that already have AJE bureaux. How does that work when more Arab uprisings occur in the Middle East? I suppose I am prejudging this element of AJAM, but I'm just not optimistic about how this will turn out. I've always criticized CNN for not including more international coverage and CNNI simulcasts on Domestic, as I have long held the belief that international news should have a significant presence in domestic media, as is the case in almost every other country. If CNN can offer international content but has no interest in doing so, it's an even bigger shame that AJ doesn't either. I guess it's at least nice that Comcast carries the always dependable BBC World now.

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Quick update: AJE's website is now fully available to U.S. viewers once again. However, videos remain inaccessible. Also, the Livestation feed is officially dead; the add-on I was using no longer works either. We're not SOL, but Al Jazeera has made it incredibly difficult to get AJE in this country.

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Most people I know will not be watching for that very reason. If Uverse carries it on the U200 channel package I might stop by and take a look but Current is currently on the U300 pkg and there's no indication they're changing that...

 

Forget about that; AT&T pulled Current THIS MORNING. Yep, on launch day, they pulled the channel. They could have pulled a Time Warner and yanked Current back in January, but noooooooo...they instead choose to troll the eager viewers by yanking AJAM before it could start. This sounds incredibly fishy; they (AT&T) say its a contract dispute, but if it truly was a contract dispute, Current would have been taken off the air months ago. The silence of Al Jazeera on this dispute makes this look even more suspicious; in a typical contract dispute, both sides would put out propaganda to support their position. In this dispute, nothing is happening. AJ is silent and AT&T only mentioned it in a tweet on their U-verse page.

 

Therefore, for U-verse subscribers, we have no AJAM, no AJE through official lines, nothing. This is truly a dreadful day. Fortunately, I still have ways of getting AJE, and it doesn't involve proxies or VPNs.

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Sucks that I won't be able to watch AJAM because it's on a different package from DirecTV.

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So, the AJE/AJAM casualty list:

 

1) Al Jazeera's English website (aljazeera.com); this includes livestreams and all videos. The home page redirects to the AJAM site.

2) AJE's YouTube channel; by the way, that's both the stream and all videos.

3) Livestation, both free and premium users

4) Al Jazeera's English mobile apps

5) The lucky few who got AJE on cable (DC, NYC, Burlington and Toledo)

6) Time Warner Cable subscribers* (as of 1/1/2013)

7) AT&T U-verse subscribers* (as of 8/20/2013)

8) MHz Worldview (as of 8/20/2013)

 

* Only DirecTV, Dish Network, Comcast, Google Fiber and Verizon FiOS carry AJAM, along with some smaller cable providers. All other cable/satellite providers do not carry AJAM or AJE. AJE is available free-to-air over satellite.

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The Livestation premium feed also went away, and they haven't made any sort of statement to premium customers.

 

Antonio Mora and Richelle Carey introduced AJAM. An odd pairing, I'd say, considering their previous employers. Tony Harris has moved from Doha and anchored the first newscast.

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Bloomberg reporting Al Jazeera is suing AT&T/U-Verse over the non-carriage issue.

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Bloomberg reporting Al Jazeera is suing AT&T/U-Verse over the non-carriage issue.

 

YES!!! It's weird how AT&T drops AJAM literally in the last few hours with no prior warning. AJ's silence completes the last piece of this puzzle: it's likely that they weren't informed and AT&T just randomly decided to drop the channel on its own, on AJAM's launch day no less. I also don't buy the whole "carriage dispute" issue either; if there was an old-fashioned carriage dispute, both parties (AT&T and Al Jazeera) would mobilize their respective propaganda machines to galvanize support for their position. I haven't seen any of that yet, as AT&T is going low key and AJ is being silent.

 

However, in the event that they ask me, as a U-verse customer, to support them in their dispute with Al Jazeera, I'll refuse.

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Heh, I saw that, and then a commercial break (full of mostly AJAM promos) crashed into the A-block. Whoops.

 

The idents and news opens are gorgeous with the soft gold and navy, though everything else feels disjointed. The L3s are a little too blocky, and the choice of Helvetica feels rather uninspired. I also think the bright teal in a lot of the studios doesn't work. The sets, which look more like a bootleg Arabic version of AJ than the real AJ, are some of Clickspring's weaker designs. Even though AJE's on air look has hardly changed in 7 years, I think they still have a better presentation style.

 

As for the channel as a whole, I'll reserve final judgment later, but my summary is this: the channel isn't bad, but the distribution strategy really is.

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YES!!! It's weird how AT&T drops AJAM literally in the last few hours with no prior warning. AJ's silence completes the last piece of this puzzle: it's likely that they weren't informed and AT&T just randomly decided to drop the channel on its own, on AJAM's launch day no less. I also don't buy the whole "carriage dispute" issue either; if there was an old-fashioned carriage dispute, both parties (AT&T and Al Jazeera) would mobilize their respective propaganda machines to galvanize support for their position. I haven't seen any of that yet, as AT&T is going low key and AJ is being silent.

 

However, in the event that they ask me, as a U-verse customer, to support them in their dispute with Al Jazeera, I'll refuse.

 

Don't go to the Facebook page. People there are thanking AT&T for not carrying Al Jazeera.

 

You know, because it supports terrorism and hates America.

 

*shakes my head*

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I'll rant here for a second. I have Uverse, and I'm disappointed. I was wanting to watch AJAM and now have no means of doing so. I do not need AT&T to censor what I watch (that's basically what they're doing here). If there are people who won't watch AJAM or AJE because they allgedly support terrorism and hate America, then they're welcome to have that view and they don't have to watch it. But if I'm paying AT&T tens of dollars monthly for their TV service, and I want to watch AJAM and that's been promised to me, then I should be able to watch it.

 

People can decide for themselves what they want to or not want to watch. They don't need a third party coming in and telling them they can't watch something for whatever reason. That's what's great about this country.

 

AT&T carries Logo on channel 183, a channel dedicated to the LGBT community. I'm all for them having their own channel and AT&T carrying it, although I don't watch that channel.

 

AT&T also carries, on channel 3603, CCTV-9. I personally do not like China and their government (nothing against their people), and do not want to watch what I perceive to be the Chinese government's agenda translated to English. But I'm for AT&T carrying that for people who are interested in it. I think there are a lot of different people with a lot of different TV tastes and so that's why cable operators should try to carry as many different channels from a wide variety of distributors as possible (and not just the American conglomerates).

 

If AT&T did indeed drop it to cave to the people who don't like AJAM, here's my advice: I would reinstate it but on a higher channel number (MAybe on the 3000s similar to CCTV-9). You can please the people who are interested in watching it as it'll be provided. And then also please the people who aren't interested in it because most viewers are not going to look that high for channels unless they subscribe to a specific package (I ventured past the 1000 mark today, I was shocked at all the channels I get or could get through AT&T). So they probably won't know it's there. And if you are interested in watching AJAM, you will go to whatever channel it's on to watch it.

 

Heck, I'm surprised there's still a Oprah Winfrey channel. I will never watch that garbage, but I don't mind AT&T carrying it, because there are people who will watch it.

 

Besides, it's a considerable minority who will actually drop whatever cable company JUST because they carry AJAM. Very few actually would do something like that. These people just complain to complain.

 

I hope either AT&T will reinstate AJAM or AJAM will start livestreaming so I can watch. I support AJAM, even if their bias is allegedly liberal (from whatever I read earlier) because I support a wide variety of news sources in this country, instead of CNN/Fox/MSNBC/the networks. I do not watch MSNBC, and yes, I admittedly watch Fox News, but I also watch NBC News, CNN, CBS, PBS sometimes, even CSPAN, so I can get a fuller picture. You cannot get a full picture by just watching one news source (no matter what ABC News tells you :D). And that's why I support AJAM.

 

No, I do not think Al Jazeera supports terrorists or hates America. If they did, why would they even establish a American news channel? You could say, yes, they aired bin Laden tapes ten years ago. But I think they've grown out of that in every part of the world except the U.S. And aren't they owned by the Government of Qatar? Don't Qatar and the U.S. have good relations?

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I agree with most of what you said. I'm also quite surprised that Comcast (who now has a competitor news channel) hasn't dropped it yet, and I think it's probably still not to late for them to drop it too. If that happens, how many homes will AJ be in then? What did they accomplish in getting a few million homes to get AJAM if they also are blocking millions of Americans from viewing AJE online?

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Well, at least AJAM airs AJE in the mornings...

 

Also, all of that disjointed presentation will likely be fixed over the next few days. It was their first day on-air, after all. Yes, there were rehearsals, but I'll still give AJAM the benefit of the doubt.

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I'll rant here for a second. I have Uverse, and I'm disappointed. I was wanting to watch AJAM and now have no means of doing so. I do not need AT&T to censor what I watch (that's basically what they're doing here). If there are people who won't watch AJAM or AJE because they allgedly support terrorism and hate America, then they're welcome to have that view and they don't have to watch it. But if I'm paying AT&T tens of dollars monthly for their TV service, and I want to watch AJAM and that's been promised to me, then I should be able to watch it.

 

People can decide for themselves what they want to or not want to watch. They don't need a third party coming in and telling them they can't watch something for whatever reason. That's what's great about this country.

 

AT&T carries Logo on channel 183, a channel dedicated to the LGBT community. I'm all for them having their own channel and AT&T carrying it, although I don't watch that channel.

 

AT&T also carries, on channel 3603, CCTV-9. I personally do not like China and their government (nothing against their people), and do not want to watch what I perceive to be the Chinese government's agenda translated to English. But I'm for AT&T carrying that for people who are interested in it. I think there are a lot of different people with a lot of different TV tastes and so that's why cable operators should try to carry as many different channels from a wide variety of distributors as possible (and not just the American conglomerates).

 

If AT&T did indeed drop it to cave to the people who don't like AJAM, here's my advice: I would reinstate it but on a higher channel number (MAybe on the 3000s similar to CCTV-9). You can please the people who are interested in watching it as it'll be provided. And then also please the people who aren't interested in it because most viewers are not going to look that high for channels unless they subscribe to a specific package (I ventured past the 1000 mark today, I was shocked at all the channels I get or could get through AT&T). So they probably won't know it's there. And if you are interested in watching AJAM, you will go to whatever channel it's on to watch it.

 

Heck, I'm surprised there's still a Oprah Winfrey channel. I will never watch that garbage, but I don't mind AT&T carrying it, because there are people who will watch it.

 

Besides, it's a considerable minority who will actually drop whatever cable company JUST because they carry AJAM. Very few actually would do something like that. These people just complain to complain.

 

I hope either AT&T will reinstate AJAM or AJAM will start livestreaming so I can watch. I support AJAM, even if their bias is allegedly liberal (from whatever I read earlier) because I support a wide variety of news sources in this country, instead of CNN/Fox/MSNBC/the networks. I do not watch MSNBC, and yes, I admittedly watch Fox News, but I also watch NBC News, CNN, CBS, PBS sometimes, even CSPAN, so I can get a fuller picture. You cannot get a full picture by just watching one news source (no matter what ABC News tells you :D). And that's why I support AJAM.

 

No, I do not think Al Jazeera supports terrorists or hates America. If they did, why would they even establish a American news channel? You could say, yes, they aired bin Laden tapes ten years ago. But I think they've grown out of that in every part of the world except the U.S. And aren't they owned by the Government of Qatar? Don't Qatar and the U.S. have good relations?

 

Incredibly well said. It's ignorance, ignorance I tell you! Yes, Qatar-U.S. relations are great (we even use Qatar as an air base/staging area,) but to ignorant Americans, Qatar is another country to be lumped in with the other terrorist Middle Eastern countries.

 

Thus far, I've seen four main reasons for this blind Al Jazeera hate:

 

1) The first legitimate reason: a pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias. At least with this, the haters/dislikers make sense and this is a legitimate criticism of Al Jazeera.

 

2) OSAMA BIN LADEN VIDEOS!!!1!! Al Jazeera supports TERRORISM!! First, those Osama bin Laden tapes were played on Al Jazeera Arabic practically a decade ago. Second, CNN et al actually aired the tapes more often than AJ did, yet it's AJ that gets all the blind hate. Also, dropping a cable company just because it carries AJAM is stupid. Ever hear of changing the channel? Try it, the remote's right there.

 

3) AJ is owned by the Qatari government, therefore AJ is no better than the other state-owned media channels. This actually came up on a CNN fansite. The theory is that since AJ is owned/financed by the Emir of Qatar, Al Jazeera is just as bad as all of the other state-owned media in the Middle East. While this sounds like a good theory, there are two problems. First, Qatar already has a state-owned channel (Qatar TV, which is independent from Al Jazeera) and second, Al Jazeera is allowed a very, very large amount of independence.

 

4) The last legitimate reason: liberal bias. Of course, this means, though, that AJAM is more like a news-intensive NPR than CNN or MSNBC. However, the liberal bias is pretty easy to notice on AJAM, especially in America Tonight (they're still quite good).

 

At least AT&T was sued by Al Jazeera; if their claim that their carriage agreement was violated by AT&T is true (and most of the evidence points in that direction); then it would be an easy win for AJ. I think AT&T may just settle out of court, the terms of which would be unknown. Who knows, maybe AT&T will be forced to carry an HD version of AJAM on channel 1189. ;)

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Well, I have Dish Network and I have been seeing AJAM since the start.

 

Just a few observations:

 

1) Dish does not have this is HD yet. I bet this will be fixed soon.

 

2) The opens. Wow. Very nice and elegent. The theme could be just a little more urgent but I will take it.

 

3) The graphics. I'm happy with them. AJAM is setting it's own look.

 

4) At least AJE is being shown in the mornings. I like the AJE service just as much as BBC World Service.

 

5) For anyone to hate on AJAM before it has a fair chance to make it's mark is just a disservice. Glenn Beck was already hating on AJAM before it went on their air. I for one love professional newscasts. AJAM is it. The rest of the networks are now on watch.

 

-- Matt

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Don't go to the Facebook page. People there are thanking AT&T for not carrying Al Jazeera.

 

You know, because it supports terrorism and hates America.

 

*shakes my head*

 

You know, I did go there. Most of those people are also begging AT&T to add TheBlaze. I don't really consider them a legit news source, but more of a venue for Glenn Beck to rant & rave. I don't care if Uverse adds them or not, I probably wouldn't watch.

 

In fact, here's their coverage of the launch of AJAM (excerpted):

 

Can You Spot the Shot Al Jazeera America Took at Glenn Beck in the First 5 Minutes It Was on the Air?

Aug. 21, 2013 8:28am Sharona Schwartz

 

Within the first five minutes on the air on Tuesday, Al Jazeera America took aim at the American media during its opening segment, and it even took some subtle shots at conservative hosts including Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and, yes, Glenn Beck.

 

The promotional video aired for the first hour of the network’s domestic debut. And while it flashed patriotic images of the Capitol, the American flag waving proudly, and men in uniform, it also made clear that it’s ready for a fight.

 

“News audiences know what they’re missing, and they know what they want,” a narrator said.

 

Another woman says after, “I do think that different channels, that the news is slanted in different directions. And I think we have to decide what we want to listen to, what we can assimilate the best.”

 

The segment included “man-on-the-street” interviews of people lamenting the lack of balanced news coverage currently available.

 

“I’m always amazed at how American-centric the news is here,” says a man wearing a Dairy Queen T-shirt on a New York street with the Empire State Building visible behind him.

 

Another man tells the off-camera Al Jazeera America interviewer, “We don’t always feel like we’re getting fed the truth and the whole story.”

 

A man wearing a baseball cap emblazoned with the initials “NRA” (though we don’t know if it’s the National Rifle Association) says, “If you talk about the mass media such as TV and print papers the mainstream, I think it’s abysmal. It’s just not news coverage, it’s plain and simple opinion and brainwashing.”

 

As TheBlaze reported, Beck argued on TheBlaze TV Tuesday night that Al Jazeera has “always been anti-American,” and that slant has “really never gone away.” The criticism of the anti-U.S bias explains the copious patriotic images the network presented in its first hour.

 

It would be foolish to pretend the network is “just like the BBC,” Beck added.

Really? Don't tell me that wasn't opinionated (and that Sharona Schwartz isn't one of Beck's henchmen). I laughed at that hogwash. I don't know why people want Uverse to carry a purely opinion network (some of the FB commenters were saying that this is "a true American news network") and then slam AJAM. At least Al Jazeera is a legitimate news source (and probably why most TVNT-ers don't bring TheBlaze TV up). I give TheBlaze two years and then it shuts down...

 

I also like how overly specific the article was on the people's descriptions (a subtle slap at AJAM for the choice of people they interviewed) particularly the Dairy Queen and NRA reference.

 

If your cable provider doesn't carry TheBlaze, you can pay $100/yr to watch it online. The shows are laughable, 4 hours of Glenn Beck a day, "Pursuit of the Truth" (a reality program where 100 people vie to "become the next great documentary maker"), "For The Record" ("TheBlaze's investigative news magazine with no political agenda and nothing to lose. Probing, fair, yet unforgiving. Journalism - the way it used to be"), "The Wonderful World of Stu" (complete with a rip off WWODisney logo), "The B.S. of A.", and even a kids program, "Liberty Treehouse".

 

I'm sorry, TheBlaze is a joke. Even Fox News is way more credible than that crap. AJAM is trying...

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You know, I did go there. Most of those people are also begging AT&T to add TheBlaze. I don't really consider them a legit news source, but more of a venue for Glenn Beck to rant & rave. I don't care if Uverse adds them or not, I probably wouldn't watch.

 

In fact, here's their coverage of the launch of AJAM (excerpted):

 

Really? Don't tell me that wasn't opinionated (and that Sharona Schwartz isn't one of Beck's henchmen). I laughed at that hogwash. I don't know why people want Uverse to carry a purely opinion network (some of the FB commenters were saying that this is "a true American news network") and then slam AJAM. At least Al Jazeera is a legitimate news source (and probably why most TVNT-ers don't bring TheBlaze TV up). I give TheBlaze two years and then it shuts down...

 

I also like how overly specific the article was on the people's descriptions (a subtle slap at AJAM for the choice of people they interviewed) particularly the Dairy Queen and NRA reference.

 

If your cable provider doesn't carry TheBlaze, you can pay $100/yr to watch it online. The shows are laughable, 4 hours of Glenn Beck a day, "Pursuit of the Truth" (a reality program where 100 people vie to "become the next great documentary maker"), "For The Record" ("TheBlaze's investigative news magazine with no political agenda and nothing to lose. Probing, fair, yet unforgiving. Journalism - the way it used to be"), "The Wonderful World of Stu" (complete with a rip off WWODisney logo), "The B.S. of A.", and even a kids program, "Liberty Treehouse".

 

I'm sorry, TheBlaze is a joke. Even Fox News is way more credible than that crap. AJAM is trying...

 

You hit the nail on the head with The Blaze. It's pretty much a joke. If they are having trouble getting TV providers to carry it, then they're obviously trying to charge too much for it.

 

As far as AT&T is concerned (which I subscribe to). I'm more frustrated at the fact that AT&T didn't tell us that they were going to drop it hours before it aired, moreso than the fact that we didn't have it the first day it aired. The program guide had the first day's programs listed in the programming listing and I was going to record some of them on my DVR. It would've been nice if AT&T was going to tell us that they were going to drop it instead of teasing us all this time.

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You know, I did go there. Most of those people are also begging AT&T to add TheBlaze. I don't really consider them a legit news source, but more of a venue for Glenn Beck to rant & rave. I don't care if Uverse adds them or not, I probably wouldn't watch.

 

In fact, here's their coverage of the launch of AJAM (excerpted):

 

 

Really? Don't tell me that wasn't opinionated (and that Sharona Schwartz isn't one of Beck's henchmen). I laughed at that hogwash. I don't know why people want Uverse to carry a purely opinion network (some of the FB commenters were saying that this is "a true American news network") and then slam AJAM. At least Al Jazeera is a legitimate news source (and probably why most TVNT-ers don't bring TheBlaze TV up). I give TheBlaze two years and then it shuts down...

 

I also like how overly specific the article was on the people's descriptions (a subtle slap at AJAM for the choice of people they interviewed) particularly the Dairy Queen and NRA reference.

 

If your cable provider doesn't carry TheBlaze, you can pay $100/yr to watch it online. The shows are laughable, 4 hours of Glenn Beck a day, "Pursuit of the Truth" (a reality program where 100 people vie to "become the next great documentary maker"), "For The Record" ("TheBlaze's investigative news magazine with no political agenda and nothing to lose. Probing, fair, yet unforgiving. Journalism - the way it used to be"), "The Wonderful World of Stu" (complete with a rip off WWODisney logo), "The B.S. of A.", and even a kids program, "Liberty Treehouse".

 

I'm sorry, TheBlaze is a joke. Even Fox News is way more credible than that crap. AJAM is trying...

Don't get me started with DirecTV. DTV customers bitch about it on DirecTV's Facebook and Twitter page to put TheBlaze on their line-up and talk about values and other bullcrap stuff. I say thank you DirecTV for not putting that crap.

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You hit the nail on the head with The Blaze. It's pretty much a joke. If they are having trouble getting TV providers to carry it, then they're obviously trying to charge too much for it.

 

As far as AT&T is concerned (which I subscribe to). I'm more frustrated at the fact that AT&T didn't tell us that they were going to drop it hours before it aired, moreso than the fact that we didn't have it the first day it aired. The program guide had the first day's programs listed in the programming listing and I was going to record some of them on my DVR. It would've been nice if AT&T was going to tell us that they were going to drop it instead of teasing us all this time.

 

Apparently, AT&T said that they took out a small "newspaper notice" about the fact that they may drop AJAM. Still not convinced that this was deliberately because of a contract dispute.

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Well, I have Dish Network and I have been seeing AJAM since the start.

 

Just a few observations:

 

1) Dish does not have this is HD yet. I bet this will be fixed soon.

 

2) The opens. Wow. Very nice and elegent. The theme could be just a little more urgent but I will take it.

 

3) The graphics. I'm happy with them. AJAM is setting it's own look.

 

4) At least AJE is being shown in the mornings. I like the AJE service just as much as BBC World Service.

 

5) For anyone to hate on AJAM before it has a fair chance to make it's mark is just a disservice. Glenn Beck was already hating on AJAM before it went on their air. I for one love professional newscasts. AJAM is it. The rest of the networks are now on watch.

 

-- Matt

 

So far I'm very impressed with AJAM. Yesterday, I went looking for it and thought Comcast had dropped it from their line-up. I must have been scrolling through the listings too fast and simply missed it (oddly, it falls in the middle of a block of sports channels in Houston, which is the same spot Current held prior to the change).

 

Anyway, I've watched about 90mins or so total and like what I'm seeing. My only complaint is it appears the newscasts are pre-taped. Maybe it's just the way the director is punching the show, or perhaps one of the interview segments during Tony Harris' hour was pre-taped. Some of it seemed a little to...rehearsed..overly so. Anyone else have this feeling?

 

Overall, I think it is a channel I would watch on a semi-regular basis.

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3) AJ is owned by the Qatari government, therefore AJ is no better than the other state-owned media channels. This actually came up on a CNN fansite. The theory is that since AJ is owned/financed by the Emir of Qatar, Al Jazeera is just as bad as all of the other state-owned media in the Middle East. While this sounds like a good theory, there are two problems. First, Qatar already has a state-owned channel (Qatar TV, which is independent from Al Jazeera) and second, Al Jazeera is allowed a very, very large amount of independence.

 

Glad to see you read my post over there. ;)

 

Also, with regards to the OBL tapes, why wouldn't they air them? People would have been outraged if the network that received the tapes sat on them and didn't run them. Al Jazeera just happened to be the most influential news channel in the Middle East at the time with the highest audience, which is why OBL sent the tapes to them. It's no different from the BBC running messages from the IRA way back when or the New York Times publishing the Unabomber's manifesto.

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I do agree with the consensus of the posts that AJAM's biggest obstacle is the American public's sentiment regarding the Middle East and Islam. They could become the most objective news channel in the country and give the most relevant information, but it's hard to change people's opinions. I wonder if they could have borrowed the name of their sports networks and call it "BeIN News America" and see if that would set off people's emotions like the Al Jazeera name does? Also, would so many journalists have applied for positions at AJAM if they thought it was going to be anti-American (Russia's state-owned English-language network RT is a good example of a source that is very critical of the United States)?

 

I welcome the added voice to the myriad of news sources on cable/satellite television. I did trace what some would call "liberal bias" on their first day story choices (the California prison hunger strike, for one), but they did cover the Idaho wildfires without any agenda.

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