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Al Jazeera here I come!

14 October 2007

When the world’s first global English-language news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East launched last November, I almost peed my pants. Finally, a voice to challenge the Anglo-American worldview which dominates global news channels. Never did I imagine that almost a year later, I would be sitting on the 60th floor of the world’s tallest twin buildings watching their October 10th 4pm live broadcast. Yeah, I guess when you’re funded by the emir of Qatar you can afford this kind of view.Twin tower bridge

Okay this time I really did almost pee my pants. What a rush! From Turkey’s refusal to recognize the Armenian genocide, to Myanmar’s military defiance of the UN’s involvement, to Hamas- Fatah talks. Each news segment carefully timed – script, images, phone interviews, etc. I can’t say I understood how it was all packaged as I was trying to breathe as quietly as possible staring, mouth agape at the 20 screens in front of me. Al Jazeera newsroom

A 24-hour news and current affairs channel headquartered in Doha (Qatar), Al Jazeera English rotates around broadcasting centres in Doha, Kuala Lumpur, London and Washington DC, “following the sun”, rather than being run under central command. Meant to emphasize news from the developing world, Al Jazeera English states its objective as “reversing the North to South flow of information”. Thanks to some rich dude in the Middle East, viewers can gain access to alternative news broadcasted globally. Oh, and thanks to him, Al Jazeera can poach talent from CNN and the BBC, bringing awesome friends for Audrey to enjoy in Kuala Lumpur.

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