Writing on his BuzzMachine blog, Jeff Jarvis has called for US cable networks to start carrying Al Jazeera’s English-language network.
Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera has been covering the civilian unrest in Egypt but was effectively shut down by the Egyptian government on Sunday, according to reports. In the following days Al Jazeera journalists have been reportedly arrested and detained in the country.
Jarvis acknowledges that Al Jazeera English is available to stream online but tells cable companies that this just isn’t enough.
Yes, we can watch AJE on the internet. But as much of an internet triumphalist as I am, internet streaming is not going to have the same impact–political and education impact–that putting AJE on the cable dial would have. I can watch AJE in the Zurich hotel room where I am now; I want to be able to watch it on my couch at home.
The New York Times’ Media Decoder blog has also picked up on the difficulty of accessing Al Jazeera English from within the US. Media Reporter Brian Stelter talks about the issue in an NYT video.
As the uprising in Egypt nears its second week, a lot of people are calling this Al Jazeera’s moment. The Qatar-based broadcaster has been showing us pictures that most US broadcasters haven’t been able to get … Al Jazeera also has an English-language channel, but a lot of people don’t know it because it’s very hard to access in the United States … Most of us can’t watch it in the US unless we watch on our computers.