Al Jazeera (Arabic: الجزيرة al-ǧazīrah IPA: [æl dʒæˈziːrɐ, æl dʒæˈziːrɑ], literally "The Island", abbreviating "The [Arabian] Peninsula"; also Aljazeera or JSC [Jazeera Satellite Channel]) is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar.
How do viewers of Al-Jazeera perceive the network's presentation of graphic and war-related visuals and do the viewers perceive that the TV channel provides visual information they cannot find in national Arab media, CNN, and other Western media. Nearly 9 in 10 respondents supported the use of graphic imagery saying watching those visuals was a good decision for them and the network provides a unique source of visual information.
The neoconservative Weekly Standard's call for America to "find a way to overcome the al-Jazeera effect" gets things exactly wrong. The United States needs to find ways to work constructively with the "al-Jazeera effect." The station is as witheringly critical or Arab regimes as it is opposed to certain pillars of American foreign policy. In the words of Egyptian dissident Saad al-Din Ibrahim, al-Jazeera has "done probably for the Arab world more than any organized critical movement could have done, in opening up the public space, in giving Arab citizens a newly found opportunity to assert themselves."
Credibility and objectivity are not the same thing, and Al-Jazeera's coverage has a pronounced tilt. Speaking about the Iraq war, Faisal Bodi (2003), senior editor for Al-Jazeera's website, said: “Of all the major global networks, Al-Jazeera has been alone in proceeding from the premise that this war should be viewed as an illegal enterprise. It has broadcast the horror of the bombing campaign, the blown-out brains, the blood-spattered pavements, the screaming infants, and the corpses. … By reporting propaganda as fact, the mainstream media had simply mirrored the Blair–Bush fantasy that the people who have been starved by UN sanctions and deformed by depleted uranium since 1991 will greet them as saviors.” Bodi cited Al-Jazeera as “a corrective” to the official line that the Western media embraced.
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.
Executives from Al Jazeera English met with Comcast (US:CMCSA), (US:CMCSK), with more than 24 million subscribers the largest U.S. cable operator, as well as Time Warner Cable Inc. and Cablevision Systems Corp. “We engaged in good discussions,” said Al Anstey, managing director of Al Jazeera English, in a telephone interview. However, Comcast will have to see a lot more evidence that the channel can attract — and keep — a sizable audience before it commits to carriage for the 4-year-old network, according to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “This is strictly a business decision,” the source said.
It is difficult to compare Al Jazeera and Al Jazeera English. There are many superficial differences between the two channels. The first went on the air in 1996; the second was launched in 2006. The former emerged in a nascent pan-Arab media environment in which it pioneered a new brand of journalism: a confrontational editorial line that infuriated most Arab regimes, and, a few years later, the United States and other Western governments. The latter is trying to penetrate a global English-language news market saturated with powerful players like the venerable BBC, CNN, and Sky News. Al Jazeera’s audience is regional, consisting of viewers whose first language is Arabic, while AJE’s audience is in theory global, comprising viewers worldwide, but especially in the global south, where English is most likely a second language
Al Jazeera is a symbol of this new, media-centric world. It affects global politics and culture, particularly by enhancing the Islamic world's clout. As it delivers its programming in Arabic and English (and perhaps soon in additional languages), and as its message meshes with content from Islamic Web sites, blogs, and other online offerings, Al Jazeera helps foster unprecedented cohesion in the worldwide Muslim community.
After years of strictly censored, state-controlled television channels in the Arab Middle East, taboo-breaking interviews with Israeli leaders and criticism of Arab regimes made Al Jazeera seem, at first, like the Arab equivalent of CNN.
The New York Times says this is because “the channel has helped to shape a narrative of popular rage against oppressive American-backed Arab governments (and against Israel) ever since its founding 15 years ago.”
Since Al Thani, a member of Qatar’s ruling family, took over the top spot at Al Jazeera from Wadah Khanfar a steady stream of changes have been made, most notably shifts in the Arabic news channel’s management team, a general hiring freeze, and a push to hire more Qatari citizens.