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Al Jazeera America launches in the United States


The Al Jazeera English newsroom in Doha, Qatar.


Mohamed Nanabhay

Al Jazeera, the Qatar-funded news network, has launched a new TV news channel in the United States.

Al Jazeera America will be available to about half of the nation's 100 million televisions with 14 hours of news programming each day.

"There will be less opinion, less yelling and fewer celebrity sightings," Ehab al-Shihabi, the channel's acting chief executive, told reporters last week.

Al Jazeera bought former US Vice President Al Gore's Current TV cable operations for $500 million last year.

The media organization joins a number of international news companies, including the BBC and The Guardian, expanding into the US market.

Al Jazeera is currently broadcast in over 260 million homes in 130 countries around the world but is perceived by some American consumers and US cable companies as being “anti-American.”

This is partially because Osama Bin Laden often released his broadcast messages to the organization while he was alive and it became a news source often associated with Al-Qaeda.

Al Jazeera has said it "promise[s] to provide unbiased in-depth coverage of domestic and international news important to its American viewers."

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According to the Guardian, during the Arab Spring the channel's live stream was seen by more than 1.6 million viewers and continues to be a source for Middle East news including the current crisis in Egypt.

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