You Can’t Watch What You Want

The AP has a story today (6/14/10) noting the continuing problems Al Jazeera English is experiencing in getting on American television:

Frustrated by its continuing inability to crack the American television market, Al Jazeera English‘s new strategy is to make itself available for free on every other possible screen.

The Qatar-based news network said its 24-hour newscast has been streamed over the Internet for 18 months. The company said it will expand its presence on various smart phones, is launching an iPad application and is aggressively distributing content through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

So, a quick refresher about howour media system works. Every weeknightI could easily tune in to Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck.And part of my cable bill every month goes topaying for that programming, no matter what I think of Fox News Channel, or whether or not I even watch it.

But Al Jazeera English–with actual reporters around the world doing journalism–is largely unavailableon U.S. TV screens, and is forced to resortto Facebook and YouTube.

Does that seem like a good system?

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.