Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
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MIDDLE EAST: Al Jazeera English coming to the U.S.?

February 22, 2011 |  9:08 am


American fans of Al Jazeera English, most of whom until now have had to go online to access the channel, may soon get greater TV access to the network described by many as a leading source of news on the protest movements erupting across the Middle East and North Africa.

The Doha, Qatar-based network announced Tuesday that the managing editor of Al Jazeera English, Al Anstey, was in New York meeting with cable TV operators about making the channel available to more U.S. viewers. In Los Angeles, KCET-TV provides online streaming coverage from the network and includes an Al Jazeera English report in its broadcast lineup.

Al Jazeera is available in neither English nor Arabic throughout most of the country, but interest seems to spike every time a major event happens in the Middle East. Following the recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, the network said its website saw a 2,500% increase in visitors, half of which were logging on from the U.S.

-- Meris Lutz in Beirut

Photo: Al Jazeera English's Doha newsroom. Credit: CMDavid via Wikimedia Commons