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Al Jazeera English Blacked Out Across Most Of U.S.

Al Jazeera English

First Posted: 01/30/11 05:00 PM Updated: 01/30/11 10:31 PM

WASHINGTON - Canadian television viewers looking for the most thorough and in-depth coverage of the uprising in Egypt have the option of tuning into Al Jazeera English, whose on-the-ground coverage of the turmoil is unmatched by any other outlet. American viewers, meanwhile, have little choice but to wait until one of the U.S. cable-company-approved networks broadcasts footage from AJE, which the company makes publicly available. What they can't do is watch the network directly.

Other than in a handful of pockets across the U.S. - including Ohio, Vermont and Washington, D.C. - cable carriers do not give viewers the choice of watching Al Jazeera. That corporate censorship comes as American diplomats harshly criticize the Egyptian government for blocking Internet communication inside the country and as Egypt attempts to block Al Jazeera from broadcasting.

The result of the Al Jazeera English blackout in the United States has been a surge in traffic to the media outlet's website, where footage can be seen streaming live. The last 24 hours have seen a two-and-a-half thousand percent increase in web traffic, Tony Burman, head of North American strategies for Al Jazeera English, told HuffPost. Sixty percent of that traffic, he said, has come from the United States.

Al Jazeera English launched in the fall of 2006, opening a large bureau on K Street in downtown Washington, but has made little progress in persuading cable companies to offer the channel to its customers.

The objections from the cable companies have come for both political and commercial reasons, said Burman, the former editor-in-chief of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. "In 2006, pre-Obama, the experience was a challenging one. Essentially this was a period when a lot of negative stereotypes were associated with Al Jazeera. The effort was a difficult one," he said, citing the Bush administration's public hostility to the network.

"There was reluctance from these companies to embark in a direction that would perhaps be opposed by the Bush administration. I think that's changed. I think if anything the Obama administration has indicated to Al Jazeera that it sees us as part of the solution, not part of the problem," Burman said.

Cable companies are also worried, said Burman, that they will lose more subscribers than they will gain by granting access to Al Jazeera. The Canadian experience, he said, should put those fears to rest. In Canada, national regulators can require cable companies to provide certain channels and Al Jazeera ran a successful campaign to encourage Canadians to push the government to intervene. There has been extremely little negative reaction over the past year as Canadians have been able to view the channel and decide for themselves. "We had a completely different process and result here in Canada -- a grassroots campaign that was overwhelmingly successful," said Avi Lewis, the former host of Al Jazeera's Frontline USA. (He now freelances for Al Jazeera while working on a documentary project with his wife, Naomi Klein.)

Media critics have begun to push for Al Jazeera's inclusion. "It is downright un-American to still refuse to carry it," wrote Jeff Jarvis on Sunday. "Vital, world-changing news is occurring in the Middle East and no one-not the xenophobic or celebrity-obsessed or cut-to-the-bone American media-can bring the perspective, insight, and on-the-scene reporting Al Jazeera English can."

Al Jazeera follows a public broadcasting model similar to the BBC, CBC and NPR and is largely funded by the government of Qatar, which Burman said takes a completely hands-off approach to content. Al Jazeera is the scourge of authoritarian governments around the Middle East, which attempt to block it. The network, however, covers much more than the Middle East, and now has more bureaus in Latin America than CNN and the BBC, said Burman. "As proud as we are of our Middle Eastern coverage, we are in other places in the world that are never, never seen on television in American homes," he said.

Burman said that he will use the experience with the Tunisia and Egyptian uprisings in upcoming meetings with cable providers as the network continues its push. Comcast did not respond to requests for comment.

"Why in the most vibrant democracy in the world, where engagement and knowledge of the world is probably the most important, why it's not available is one of these things that would take a PhD scholar to understand," Burman said.

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UPDATE I: A reader emails to say that Al Jazeera programming is also being carried by the satellite channel LinkTV, which can be found on channel 9410 on Dish Network and 375 on DirecTV.

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UPDATE II: Another reader emails to say that Al Jazeera broadcasts over some of the Pacifica stations, including WBAI (New York, 5-6 AM, 99.5 FM), KPFA (Berkeley, 6-7 AM, 94.1 FM) and KPFT (Houston, 5-6 AM, 90.1 FM).


Readers can demand Al Jazeera English here. Here are the contact pages for Comcast, Time Warner and DirecTV.
 

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wow, the huffington post, the central hub of the stupid. but this article is so unusually stupid, it’s worth fisking.

American viewers... can't... watch the [Al Jazeera] network directly.

Other than in a handful of pockets across the U.S. - including Ohio, Vermont and Washington, D.C. - cable carriers do not give viewers the choice of watching Al Jazeera. That corporate censorship
damn corporations, blocking american viewers from watching the network! but let’s read on...

The result of the Al Jazeera English blackout in the United States has been a surge in traffic to the media outlet's website, where footage can be seen streaming live.
waitaminute. so they can watch Al Jazeera after all? oh snap.

Cable companies are also worried, said Burman, that they will lose more subscribers than they will gain by granting access to Al Jazeera.
oh snap again! it’s not censorship, it’s business consideration. next thing you know they will tell you that american cable networks are in it for money!

what can we do? let’s read on.

The Canadian experience, he said, should put those fears to rest. In Canada, national regulators can require cable companies to provide certain channels and Al Jazeera ran a successful campaign to encourage Canadians to push the government to intervene.
yes. it is all so clear now. to fight censorship that does not exist, let’s ask our government to force private businesses to carry on channels that they don’t want, for business reasons.

then the freedom will reign!
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
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Discussion Starter #5
Al Jazeera was inofficially/officially black balled by Bush.
So, Al Jazzera is streamed live on their website providing, and posted 'free' on Youtube.

Why not watch it for a while, before offering your esteemed opinion?
 

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Al Jazeera was inofficially/officially black balled by Bush.
So, Al Jazzera is streamed live on their website providing, and posted 'free' on Youtube.

Why not watch it for a while, before offering your esteemed opinion?
where did i provide any opinion one way or another about quality of al jazeera, or indicated that i don't watch it regularly?

what's wrong with you people? half of the posters in this forum reply to the voices in their head, not to the actual written text. all of them happen to be on the left side of political spectrum for some reason...
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
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Discussion Starter #7
Quite a jump from Al Jazeera to 'the left.'
Some presume the network to offer spin similar to U.S. TV news.

Q: "In 2006, pre-Obama, the experience was a challenging one. Essentially this was a period when a lot of negative stereotypes were associated with Al Jazeera. The effort was a difficult one," he said, citing the Bush administration's public hostility to the network.
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
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Discussion Starter #9
Looks more like pick and spin...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Al-Jazeera appeals for social media help in Egypt

Al-Jazeera appeals for social media help in Egypt

Published January 31, 2011 | Associated Press

The pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera is calling out for help from Egyptian bloggers and others after authorities closed its Cairo office amid unprecedented anti-state protests.

A statement by the Qatar-based network urges Egyptians to send blog posts, eyewitness accounts and videos to expand coverage of the uprising against President Hosni Mubarak.

Monday's appeal comes a day after Egyptian authorities shut Al-Jazeera's office, complaining its round-the-clock coverage was slanted toward protesters and could encourage more unrest.

Al-Jazeera denounced the move as an attempt to muzzle open reporting. It has managed to continue coverage in Egypt with fixed-position cameras and reports by phone.

URL

FoxNews.com - Al-Jazeera appeals for social media help in Egypt

Read more: FoxNews.com - Al-Jazeera appeals for social media help in Egypt
 

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that's better. you see - factual reporting through fox news, instead of tools at huffs.
 

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Quite a jump from Al Jazeera to 'the left.'
Some presume the network to offer spin similar to U.S. TV news.

Q: "In 2006, pre-Obama, the experience was a challenging one. Essentially this was a period when a lot of negative stereotypes were associated with Al Jazeera. The effort was a difficult one," he said, citing the Bush administration's public hostility to the network.
The reason that the for-profit cable business doesn't carry Al Jazeera is because Bush, who left the presidency over 2 years ago, somehow continues to prevent the for-profit cable companies from running it.

Makes perfect sense to me. I know it wouldn't have a damned thing to do with most viewers not giving a good god damn what the Arab news says about anything and thus, no chance of turning a profit for investors.
 

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The reason that the for-profit cable business doesn't carry Al Jazeera is because Bush, who left the presidency over 2 years ago, somehow continues to prevent the for-profit cable companies from running it.

Makes perfect sense to me. I know it wouldn't have a damned thing to do with most viewers not giving a good god damn what the Arab news says about anything and thus, no chance of turning a profit for investors.
What in the bloody hell is the matter with you?

You know damn well logic and reason have no place in this forum... :bowdown:
 

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How is the fact that it is not covered by some (many) cable companies but fully available on the web a "blackout"?

Does every cable company now have to carry every channel that calls itself "news" or be accused of "blacking out" information?

What a steaming pile!
 

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not as much of a jump as yours.

do you have anything to say to the substance of my post?
There is no substance in your posts. You watch Fox news which pretty much disqualifies any chance of an intellectual contribution from your slave-mind.

The point of the article that flies over your head like the ZOG agendas you swallow day after day on your television is that international news still has no place in mainstream American television.

You wouldn't understand this because you don't have a clear picture of the information war that is being waged and how governments filter their agenda through news propaganda agencies and hysteria-machines like Fox news, which gets passed to the idiot sheep masses that can't even point out the countries discussed on a map.

Deustche Welle, Russia Today, BBC - not very common on Cable networks. All for good reason.

Apparently you don't know who Rupert Murdoch is and what he stands for - and the fact that American television is in the business of misinformation.

Even Haaretz is more critical of the Israeli government that idiot-feeds like Fox, because criticism of Israel is bad for business in the US.

You are so fucking naive it's not funny.
 

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what's wrong with you people? half of the posters in this forum reply to the voices in their head, not to the actual written text. all of them happen to be on the left side of political spectrum for some reason...
By the way, before you assume that anyone who disagrees with you and hates your kind is a "liberal" or a "dem" or a "leftist" as is characteristic of so many people who write and act just like you - let me clarify my ideological position as a National Socialist.

That is, the actual Right Wing - not what you television entranced lobbyist-line swallowers call "conservative" while you watch your country and race sold on a daily basis, standing idly by, wishing oil men and international bankers the best of luck.

A better term is "Third Position" - as we can't stand any association with the likes of people like you.
 

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That has to be applicable to Njay in spadeswho can see no wrong in a controlled media for the masses situation. He has been successfully 'dumbed down'. Very patriotic.
 

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That has to be applicable to Njay in spadeswho can see no wrong in a controlled media for the masses situation. He has been successfully 'dumbed down'. Very patriotic.
Controlled media?

Yep, anything you don't understand, just must be a conspiracy.

In your case, I understand how you see conspiracies everywhere.
 
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