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The Future of 24-Hour News

New Directions, New Challenges

Edited By Stephen Cushion and Richard Sambrook

Over the last 30 years 24-hour television news channels have reshaped the practice and culture of journalism. But the arrival of new content and social media platforms over recent years has challenged their power and authority, with fast-changing technologies accelerating the speed of news delivery and reshaping audience behaviour. Following on from The Rise of 24-Hour News Television: Global Perspectives (Cushion and Lewis, 2010), this volume explores new challenges and pressures facing television news channels, and considers the future of 24-hour news. Featuring a wide range of industry and academic perspectives, including the heads of some of the major international news channels (BBC Global News, Al Jazeera and Sky News, among others) as well as leading academics from around the world, contributors reflect on how well rolling television news is reinventing itself for digital platforms and the rapidly changing expectations of audiences. Overall, the 24 chapters in this volume deliver fresh insights into how 24-hour news channels have redefined rolling news journalism – or potentially could do – in order to remain relevant and effective in supplying continuous news for 21st-century audiences.
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Chapter 8: The View from the Middle East: Al Jazeera


← 92 | 93 →CHAPTER EIGHT

The View from the Middle East: Al Jazeera


As the world is debating the relevance of 24-hour news channels, we in the Middle East are totally engrossed in creating more news platforms. Unfortunately, we are doing so for the wrong reasons.

As a TV journalist for the last 25 years, I should be happy to see more chances to work and more competition, but actually I am not optimistic at all with the current professional scene. Since the 9/11 attacks, all news organisations are living in the age of immediate reporting with all its accompanying professional problems. No one has managed to cope with or recover from the symptoms of this transition. I have many concerns about the current health of TV news around the world.

But we in the Middle East have been suffering from an even more problematic transition. Since the region became more central to the “global war against terrorism,” more money and political influence have been pumped into the media scene. After Al-Qaeda and similar organisations managed to use media tools to recruit and circulate their messages, the governments and businessmen in the region decided to follow suit and use media. Al Jazeera was the only one created before 9/11 and managed to dominate the scene, which increased reasons to create more media platforms. Saudi Arabia, Saudi businessmen, UAE, and Kuwait are all...

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