The BBC has more competition with the English language version of al-Jazeera making it debut today. How many pro-Muslim, terror-endorsing networks do we really need? The Times, Slick, but depressing: a first view of English al-Jazeera:
Ten years after it began broadcasting, al-Jazeera launched its first English-language news channel at noon today. Michael Binyon of The Times tuned in to watch the channel's explosive start, which he says, could attract a loyal following around the world
It made its name with dramatic pictures of conflict and exclusive scoops: the war against the Taleban, Bin Laden’s tapes, the bombings and US-led attack on Baghdad, the war in Lebanon, the rising anger in the Middle East. Al-Jazeera quickly became the voice of the Arab street, a must-watch station for Arabs and for newsmen around the world — assuming they could follow the Arabic.
Today everyone can watch. After much hype, slick publicity and a long delay, al-Jazeera’s English-language world service was lauched from its headquarters in Qatar. It began with a bang, focusing, naturally, on what had made its name: hard-hitting news from the world’s trouble spots...
...There was little to quarrel with politically — though David Chater, the commentator did talk about “so-called terror organisations” which might raise an eyebrow in Jerusalem or Washington.
For balance we then went straight to Jerusalem, and Jackie Rowland — yet another ex-BBC frontline reporter wooed over to the new channel — to hear how Israeli public opinion reacted to shelling from Gaza. She was, like the mood there, blunt and uncompromising: Israeli military doctrine was to attack whenever people felt threatened.
Moving from the BBC to al-Jazeera must be a smooth transition.