Most of the nation has a rather tumultuous relationship with Al Jazeera. This stems from a few things, but mostly it’s just ignorance. A majority of people still see Al Jazeera as some radical Islamic media company, when that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Despite all the negative feelings toward the network, New York City has consistently embraced Al Jazeera – The Huffington Post reports that New York provides more traffic to its websites than any other city in the world – so now it’s hugging us all back.
Last night, at midnight, Al Jazeera English launched on Time Warner (Channel 92), and it will launch on Verizon’s FiOS in the near future. Al Anstey, Al Jazeera English’s Managing Director, said that New York’s support is critical for the network succeeding:
New York is a very important city. It’s looking at all directions on the globe and all directions are looking back at New York City. So it’s a truly global city. It’s got a very outward looking, diverse, intelligent audience – obviously an influential audience in some quarters as well. So it’s a key part of our strategy.
While the network has strong support here (and from Hillary Clinton), it still has a long way to go to get people to switch from either their local news or CNN, MSNBC or any of the other news mainstays. But getting a foot in the door in New York is a good place to start.