Al Jazeera to produce English broadcasts

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
For the 10th anniversary of the Qatari news producing empire of Al-Jazeera it is slated to produce a pan-Arab newspaper within the next year that will compete with other Arabic daily newspapers.

In addition, Al-Jazeera has plans to launch Al-Jazeera International on Nov. 15 with hopes of stealing viewers from CNN and BBC, as it will be an English-language channel from an Arab perspective.

Al-Jazeera is banned in Saudi Arabia as well as a number of other countries in the Middle East and Moslem world. It is credited with stirring up the Arab world with brazen discussions on taboo topics.

“We are totally blocked from Saudi Arabia,” said Director Wadah Khanfar. The station's employees are also banned from Iraq, Tunisia and Algeria.

Nevertheless, Al-Jazeera is broadcast in Israel and Israelis are very much interested and have not banned the station.

“There's huge interest for this channel in Israel,” said Commercial Director Lindsay Oliver. “That wouldn't be the case if we were going to be unbalanced.”

The new 24-hour network will be available to at least 40 million households worldwide via cable in Western Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Malaysia and a few other places in the world.

There will be at least one major cable provide in the United States, and one major satellite provider that will carry it. Oliver declined to identify them.

The news broadcasts are expected to reach an additional 1.2 million Moslems who do not speak Arabic.

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