Al Jazeera Opens Talks With U.S. Cable Providers

By Alex Weprin 

Al Jazeera English has begun talks with cable providers with regards to expanding carriage stateside, the company says. AJE says it is talking to Comcast–the country’s largest cable provider–today, with additional meetings slated throughout the week.

The news of the meetings comes as the Doha, Qatar based network continues to ride the wave of positive PR stemming from its impressive coverage of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Today Reuters ran an in-depth profile of the network, with a focus on its U.S. aspirations:

“We’ll renew efforts to talk to the operators, put the facts on their desks and show them that there are many, many people asking for high-quality content and balanced journalism,” Anstey says, pointing to plans to add one or two more bureaus in the Americas this year.

Elsewhire, Time spoke to Al Jazeera Arabic’s Washington bureau chief:

How does that lens compare to the idea much vaunted in the U.S. of journalistic objectivity?
To be honest, I don’t know what objective journalism means. The environment in which you broadcast obviously colors your coverage. If you are an American network broadcasting from the U.S., you will be broadcasting with a sensibility which may not look necessarily objective to an audience in another part of the world. And the same is true if you’re a network like Al Jazeera Arabic, broadcasting out of the Middle East. But we have to go beyond that. We should agree on the necessity to provide information in a timely manner. We cannot live in a world where a story like Egypt — which has consequences for the whole world — is unfolding and your audience doesn’t know anything about it or enough about it.