Despite Al-Jazeera’s international reputation for serious investigative reporting, the company’s English-language station has yet to find a cable provider in either the U.S. or Canada.
The Canadian magazine This comments that “Canada can no longer afford to shun the world’s first truly global news network–especially one that is both steered and shaped by Canada’s best and brightest.” Al-Jazeera English is, after all, broadcast in more than 140 million households and in at least 100 countries. Why is North America so far behind?
Al-Jazeera isn’t giving up easily. “The network’s inability to secure cable providers in the U.S., and the highly politicized battles to undermine its effort for access across the continent, have left it embattled but not defeated.”
Only in Toledo, Ohio and Burlington, VT has Al-Jazeera English found a home with a cable provider, although not without opposition. When viewers in Burlington complained that the station is anti-American and anti-Semitic, town hall debates raged and Al-Jazeera was taken off the air. Recognizing that the station offers “alternative” perspectives, the city council eventually reinstated the channel.
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