Al-Jazeera America began broadcasting on August 20th. But will Americans tune in?
Although once ranked among Apple, Google, Ikea and Starbucks as one of the world’s most influential brands, many Americans still view Al-Jazeera with suspicion — in part because of Al-Jazeera’s decision to air messages it received from Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks.
The take-away for many viewers was that Al-Jazeera was nothing more than a mouthpiece for terrorists….
…John Esposito, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and the author of several books on contemporary Islam, said Al-Jazeera America will have to deal with a segment of the population that is biased against Islam.
The Tampa-based Florida Family Association, which opposes what it perceives to be the “Islamization” of America, recently launched a campaign demanding major companies stop advertising on the channel….
…Esposito hopes Al-Jazeera America will do a better job than its network and cable rivals at presenting a more nuanced view of Muslims. According to Esposito, news coverage of Muslims in the context of religious extremism has grown exponentially since 9/11, while coverage of mainstream Islam has remained low.
Al-Jazeera America will need to provide greater context and background to world events, especially those unfolding in the Middle East, to rectify this imbalance, he said.