HAVING WATCHED Al Jazeera English since we arrived in the Beltway, also having been a guest talking head many times with Al Jazeera, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for what could be an important addition to American news, which has been caught in the hyper partisan vortex since Fox News channel debuted.
Led by Kate O’Brian, a 30-year ABC News veteran who will take over as president of the network, she will oversee the editorial team and attempt to convince more outlets to carry Al Jazeera America. AJAM as its called is headquartered in New York City and has 12 bureaus across the U.S.
AJAM’s “There’s more to it” slogan is a good place to start.
John Seigenthaler, the former NBC anchor, will take top news duty for AJAM. CNN’s Ali Velshi and Soledad O’Brien, former NBC News’ Mike Viqueira, will also be on board, as will David Shuster.
O’Brian, a former senior vice-president at ABC News who began her career there as an intern, will be based at the network’s headquarters in New York City, and “will have full responsibility for defining and implementing the editorial strategy and operations across the network, including news, documentary and all other programming”, according to the statement.
In an interview, O’Brian told Al Jazeera English, AJAM’s sister network, that there was “a gap” in the US news media landscape that her channel would be seeking to fill.
The Qatar-based Al Jazeera network acquired Current TV and hopes this is a bridge to a wider audience. We shall see.