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On One-Year Anniversary, Al Jazeera America President Kate O’Brian Thanks Staff

Kate O'Brian 2014On Al Jazeera America’s one-year anniversary, network president Kate O’Brian wrote a memo to staff noting their success so far.

We came with a mission to cover the most important stories of the world in the way that Al Jazeera has been doing it around the globe for years—actively and with depth, with humanity and courage, and without opinion or punditry. And we came with the goal of bringing these compelling and important stories, from the US and from around the world, to the American audience. My friends, I believe we have succeeded.And so, ultimately, this anniversary is about you. Each one of you. Without your extraordinary work this past year we would not have been able to create what we have—a growing, thriving 24/7 news channel. This is just the beginning of a wonderful journey.

O’Brian stresses the network hasn’t reached all of its goals: “We have more work to do — but I know we have the drive and dedication to do it.”

Her full note after the jump.


Happy anniversary, team!

It was one year ago today we watched the screen at 3pm, as Tony Harris welcomed viewers to our news channel, and in that moment we changed the American media landscape. We were the new kids on the block, the upstart, the curiosity. We came with high expectations of ourselves and from others. We came with a mission to cover the most important stories of the world in the way that Al Jazeera has been doing it around the globe for years—actively and with depth, with humanity and courage, and without opinion or punditry. And we came with the goal of bringing these compelling and important stories, from the US and from around the world, to the American audience.

My friends, I believe we have succeeded.

Now, I’m not saying we have reached all our goals yet. We have more work to do — but I know we have the drive and dedication to do it. We continue to challenge ourselves every day to create the most compelling programming, find the best ways to report urgent stories, and reach our audience more effectively. Already our viewers know we will be on the ground for every important event, as we have been in Ferguson, in Gaza, at the Mosul dam, at the fuselage of MH17, in Ukraine, reporting urgent developments from the human perspective. Our audience knows our flagship program America Tonight will shine a light on important issues as they have done this past year with their work on sexual assault on campus, small town heroin hell, and the events this week in Ferguson, just to name a few. They know Al Jazeera America will produce remarkable weekly documentaries; both the award-winning Fault Lines and doc series like Borderland, The System, and the forthcoming Edge of Eighteen, all of which illustrate our mission to go deeper into the issues that affect Americans. From exploring the stories behind the business news on Real Money, compelling conversations with newsmakers on Consider This, the tough questions on Inside Story, the fascinating technology and science pieces on TechKnow, to the in-depth discussion on Talk To Al Jazeera, our viewers know they will find something different here. We are not your parents’ news channel.

News is our core, as all of you know well. It’s why you came to Al Jazeera America. It’s what we do and what we love to do. And it is the hard work and enthusiasm of our team which will continue to make Al Jazeera America grow. I have seen the instant mobilization of the team when a big story hits, your courage in the field, your unwavering support for your colleagues. The hard work and team spirit in and outside the newsroom allows us to create the content our audience expects of us.

And so, ultimately, this anniversary is about you. Each one of you. Without your extraordinary work this past year we would not have been able to create what we have—a growing, thriving 24/7 news channel. This is just the beginning of a wonderful journey.

Many, many happy returns of the day.

Kate

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