TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera America CEO on Channel’s First Anniversary: ‘We Have Accomplished A Lot’

ehab al shihabiIn a note to Al Jazeera America staff this afternoon about the channel’s upcoming one-year anniversary, CEO Ehab Al Shihabi said staffers “have accomplished a lot” over the past 12 months. “I am proud to say that both our internal culture and our reporting reflect the diversity of today’s world,” Al Shihabi wrote. “…Now, after one year, we must continue our work.”

Every day, we must deliver on our brand promise – providing accurate, in-depth, unbiased news stories that aren’t covered elsewhere, and that respect the diversity of today’s world. Aljazeera is known internationally for captivating content that reveals the human impact of today’s top news events, and we will evolve in order to meet those expectations and grow our audience.

I know there has been a lot of talk about ratings. Let’s put things in perspective. Other cable news networks have been on television for decades — we’re a year old. We’re still growing our brand awareness as well as our distribution, which is a little more than half of all U.S. cable homes.

But ratings only tell part of the story about Aljazeera America.  Read more

Al Jazeera America Takes Victory Lap for Israel-Gaza Coverage

AJAMAdAl Jazeera America has produced a new :30 second promotional spot about the network’s continuing coverage in Gaza, which has given the network a ratings boost recently. The promo begins airing today and will run all week on competing news networks including CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.

The spot will run on 18 different networks in New York and New Jersey markets served by Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS, but not Comcast which owns NBC/MSNBC.

Watch it after the jump…

Read more

Al Jazeera America Weighing More Layoffs

Al-Jazeera-America304During a meeting last week, Al Jazeera America CEO Ehab Al Shihabi announced the network is considering additional layoffs.

“Like any television network we make decisions based on our programming schedule,” a network spokesperson tells TVNewser. “We’re always looking at our staffing levels. We have a staff of over 800.”

We’re hearing that 20 positions may be cut. In April, AJAM laid off dozens of staffers, mostly from its sports and business units.

Last week, the network said it saw a 30 percent spike in ratings over the previous two weeks as the Gaza conflict waged. AJAM marks its one-year anniversary on August 20.

Peter Greste to Appeal Egypt Conviction

peter gresteThe family of jailed Al Jazeera correspondent Peter Greste has announced they will appeal his conviction on charges that he aided the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The BBC reports the Greste family felt they had “no option but to try to win his freedom through the criminal justice appeal system”:

“At least part of our strength comes from the understanding that this isn’t just about those wrongly convicted in our case. This is about press freedom, about freedom of speech not just in Egypt but globally,” the statement released by the Greste family on Friday said.

“Today we wish to announce we intend to appeal the verdict through the formal channels offered by the Egyptian legal system,” Mike Greste said in Brisbane. “It wasn’t a decision that was made lightly.”

Greste and two other Al Jazeera journalists, Mohamed Fahmy  and Baher Mohamed, were sentenced last month to seven years in jail.

Al Jazeera Reporter on Gaza Bureau Shots: ‘We Were All Startled’

Al Jazeera English correspondent Stefanie Dekker, currently in Gaza, is reporting on the shots fired this morning at the network’s bureau there.

“At one point from the sky through the live position and into the office, which is where the kitchen is, we had a big explosion. So we were all startled and trying to figure out what it was  — maybe someone thought it was an electricity explosion, something like that,” Dekker said. “And then straight after another shot came in. So it was very clear, two very precise shots straight into our building.” Watch:

Yesterday, the Israeli foreign minister said they were working to prevent the Qatar-backed Al Jazeera from operating within its borders. An Al Jazeera spokeperson tells TVNewser the network holds”the Israeli authorities fully responsible” for the shooting.

Gunshots Fired at Al Jazeera’s Gaza Bureau

al jazeera gunshotsJust one day after the Israeli foreign minister said he would try to prevent Al Jazeera from operating in Israel, the network says gunshots were fired at its Gaza bureau:

“Two very precise shots were fired straight into our building”, Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker (pictured), reporting from the bureau in Gaza said. “We are high up in the building so we had a very strong vantage point over the area. But we have evacuated.”

The bureau is situated in a residential area of Gaza City. “Our office building also has many residential apartments. People [are] leaving, panicked. The AP [news agency] also has office there and [has] evacuated.”

Dekker and another Al Jazeera journalist, Nicole Johnston, both referred to the shots as “warning shots” on Twitter.

Al Jazeera did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

>Update: “The foreign minister’s comments were a direct threat against us and appear to have been taken as a green light for the targeting of our journalists in Gaza. We hold the Israeli authorities fully responsible. They have put the lives of journalists in danger,” an Al Jazeera spokesperson said in a statement.

The full statement is after the jump. Read more

Israeli Foreign Minister: We Will ‘Work to Prevent’ Al Jazeera From Operating in Israel

al-jazeera-650x441Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said today that the country will “work to prevent” Al Jazeera from operating within its borders, the International Business Times reports:

“Qatar ( the Gulf state where Al Jazeera is based)  has turned into a global problem. Al Jazeera is a central pillar of the propaganda apparatus of Hamas,” he said. The news network employs several Israeli journalists. Freedom of the press is enshrined in Israeli law and, according to Anshel Pfeffer, a writer for the liberal daily Haaretz, only the Supreme Court could ban their reports.

Al Jazeera Arabic had earlier reported that Israel had been using phosphorus bombs in east Gaza, which it had pledged to stop using last year. The company is also funded by Qatari owners, who Israel believe to be financing Hamas. It is unknown whether the minister was alluding to the Al Jazeera English or Al Jazeera America arm of the company.

[h/t Mediaite]

Al Jazeera Reporter Overcome With Emotion Unable to Finish Gaza Live Shot

Covering ongoing civilian casualties can take its toll on foreign correspondents. Yesterday, the bloodiest day in the Gaza conflict overcame Al Jazeera correspondent Wael Al-Dahdouh.

While reporting from Gaza, Al-Dahdouh became stricken with emotion, looking down when it became difficult to continue his reporting. He ultimately walked off camera. Last year, Al-Dahdouh, a Palestinian journalist, won an international media festival award for his reporting in Gaza. Yesterday was the bloodiest day in the ongoing conflict; at least 100 Palestinians were killed during Israel’s ground invasion while 13 Israeli soldiers were killed. Hamas also claimed to have captured an Israeli soldier; a claim Israel’s ambassador to the UN denied.

Al Jazeera America to Cut Remotes, Rein in Costs. ‘Live Shots: mayday!’

Al-Jazeera-America304Al Jazeera America producers are being told to rein in the costs, by thinking twice about booking costly studio time and satellite remotes. TVNewser obtained an email sent by Al Jazeera America SVP of programming David Doss with the subject line, “Live Shots: mayday!”

“We are getting killed budget-wise on live shots,” Doss writes, adding, “we are at a point where you must own these costs.” He also instructs staffers to get satellite and studio costs approved going forward.

“As with any business organization, we look at managing our resources as efficiently and effectively as possible,” an Al Jazeera spokesperson tells TVNewser.

The full email after the jump.

Read more

Despite Poor Ratings, Al Jazeera America President Expects Viewers Will Come

Al-Jazeera-America304As Al Jazeera America approaches its one-year anniversary, network President Kate O’Brian predicts more viewers will start tuning in to the struggling network.

“There will be an inflection point when people realize what Al Jazeera does,” she said yesterday at a press tour for the TV Critics Association. “They won’t want the right-leaning, the left-leaning or the infotainment. They’ll come.”

The Hollywood Reporter reports that O’Brian acknowledged some viewers haven’t tuned in because of the network’s Arabic name and Middle East background, but she still believes success is on the horizon. “It’s a well-respected brand throughout the world. We will get there in America. It will come in time.”

But today, Reuters columnist Jack Schafer explains why viewers are shrugging toward AJAM instead of watching.

Why the antipathy? In some ways, Al Jazeera America has out-CNN’ed the old CNN with its plodding, responsible, in-depth and conventional approach to news. “There’s no real estate for partisan bickering” at Al Jazeera America, wrote USA Today‘s Rem Rieder earlier this year. “Its diet of top national and international stories is a throwback to the story lineup on the network newscasts of decades ago.” The channel’s anchors serve no candy, and no whiskey, either. Al Jazeera America isn’t just the anti-Vice, it’s the anti-Fox, and its sobriety makes PBS’s NewsHour seem like a TV riot in comparison. Is sobriety really the direction Al Jazeera America wants to go? As David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun has written, NewsHour lost 48 percent of its audience between 2005 and 2013, indicating that Al Jazeera America is pursuing a class of viewers that’s headed for extinction.

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>