As a semi news junkie, I’m sorry to see Al Jazeera America announce that it’s going to close up shop in April. It is one of my favorite stops when I’m looking for good news coverage, especially outside of the United States.
Al Jazeera America invested in serious, in-depth reporting and racked up many journalism awards for doing so. But its ratings have remained anemic since launch. In prime time the channel only averages between 20,000 and 40,000 viewers on a typical day. CNN, Fox News and other cable news channels have well over ten times as many viewers. (http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/13/media/al-jazeera-america/)
Unlike BBC, RT, and French TV which also bring an American brand of world news, Al Jazeera does it with mostly American news folks. In fact, many of my favorite black news anchors and correspondents from a variety of networks ended up on Al Jazeera. (I’ll never admit to my TV crush on Richelle Carey, formerly of CNN Network News).
In my opinion, keeping the name and logo of Al Jazeera may have been their biggest flaw in their attempt to gain an American audience. I would have changed it to something like ‘Big Al’s World News’ and come up with a domesticated logo or something a little less threatening to folks who are afraid of the big bad foreigners.
Hate to see Al Jazeera go. Guess I’ll catch them online.