What is Al Jazeera America?
Al Jazeera America is a television news channel that is just trying to get started in the United States. It will start broadcasting in the United States on Tuesday, August 20, 2013. Al Jazeera America is noteworthy because it is part of a network that was originally owned by the government of Qatar, an Arab country. It is still not clear that Al Jazeera is independent of that government. It will have a very hard time getting viewers in the United States because of its association with the Muslim world.
Al Jazeera America is one arm of the worldwide Al Jazeera network. Al Jazeera became very unpopular in the US after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The network was willing to broadcast things like interviews with people who supported Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda and tapes made by bin Laden himself. Many Americans view Al Jazeera as an anti-American organization that sympathizes with terrorists.
Because of this, it will be hard for Al Jazeera America to gain viewers. The network is having a hard time finding cable distributors that will carry it. The network is hiring reputable American journalists, but it remains to be seen if it can convince American cable companies and viewers that it is not anti-American.