AJI Launch: “You Want To Know Your Enemy … We Should Know What’s On Their Minds”

By Brian 

Check out these two stories in USA Today about Al Jazeera English. Here’s an excerpt:

  The newsroom at Al-Jazeera International on K Street is newer than most — everything is digital — but producers and editors monitor events around the globe via computer just as they do at CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS.

Competitors, however, “are owned by conglomerates that determine what they do and don’t do,” while AJI is bankrolled by the emir of Qatar, says producer Sol Levine, who once ran CNN’s Crossfire. “His only directive has been to be different, balanced and to report what people don’t see on other networks.”

AJI viewers “will hear voices, many of them angry and unhappy from the southern portion of the globe that you may not see on any of our competitors’ networks,” says anchor Dave Marash, a former Nightline correspondent.

Says Marash: “Even if you think about it in the most adversarial way, you want to know your enemy, and a lot of people consider themselves our enemy, so better we should know what’s on their minds than to pretend it isn’t there.”