journalism

The 'black sheep' of global broadcasting has finally managed to unlock the American TV market's tightly guarded doors. Beginning with a footprint of 48 million U.S. households it is making not an easy but a promising entrance. During its 17 years of existence, the Qatari media outlet has been equally vilified and praised for its editorial guidelines and news coverage. Conversations around it would always reflect feelings of hatred or worship; either or both.

The combination of Al Jazeera and America doesn't exactly sound like a match made in Heaven, or Jannah for that matter. But that's not stopping the deep-pocketed media giant, funded by the government of Qatar, from spending hundreds of millions of dollars to once again try to build a presence in the United States. On Tuesday, Al Jazeera launches Al Jazeera America, an ambitious news network that hopes to challenge CNN, Fox News and MSNBC on their own turf.

Very little coherent information is currently coming out of the parts of northern Nigeria under a state of emergency. What information is available indicates that activity and violence continue under the cover of the media silence, though it is difficult to judge its degree. In May, cell phones and satellite phones did not operate in the affected areas. Those services are only slowly being restored. Foreign media are almost entirely absent, and domestic media appear to be highly restricted. Foreign diplomats do not travel there.

Last week, for the first time ever, there was a panel dedicated to discussion of public diplomacy at the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). Held in Washington, DC the conference, and this panel in particular, offered an opportunity for scholars to talk about the emergence of public diplomacy as a subject of study in the discipline.

Last week, for the first time ever, there was a panel dedicated to discussion of public diplomacy at the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). Held in Washington, DC the conference, and this panel in particular, offered an opportunity for scholars to talk about the emergence of public diplomacy as a subject of study in the discipline.

In May 2010, when the Washington Post Company put Newsweek up for sale, it called for bids from interested parties. One surprising entry into the race was Southern Media Group, a Chinese media conglomerate that publishes the relatively liberal newspaper Southern Weekly, among other products. I was a Beijing correspondent for Newsweek at the time, and I remember several Chinese people asking me, with a mixture of pride and apprehension, whether I thought Southern Media Group had a chance. Unsurprisingly, the answer was no.

"So far everything is fine, there is a lot of talk, but its quiet in Benghazi. As far as any of us can see, Gaddafi's troops are nowhere near the city." The satellite connection was more or less clear, if a bit tinny. On the other end, 5,000 miles away, my wife didn't sound convinced. It wouldn't help that the next morning found us fleeing Benghazi with the international press corps, on the back of a hastily flagged down truck.

One of America’s flagship weekly national news magazines, Newsweek, faced a Title VII Civil Rights Act gender discrimination case from 46 of its female employees in 1970. Despite that important case so many years ago, in 2009 a group of Newsweek’s female reporters wrote with dismay that not much had changed. 43 of 49 Newsweek cover stories that year were written by men, and, across America, women got only one byline at a major magazine for every seven bylines by their male colleagues.

Pages