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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 16: Networked Reporting on Al Jazeera English: Context, Challenges and Comparative Advantages


← 200 | 201 →CHAPTER SIXTEEN

Networked Reporting on Al Jazeera English: Context, Challenges and Comparative Advantages


What does a broadcast news organization look and feel like when it’s no longer trying to just be broadcast? (promo clip for AJ+, 2015)

Since its launch in November 1996, Al Jazeera has expanded rapidly from being an obscure outsider and alternative Arabic news channel into a multi-language, multi-channel, multi-platform global media network. In addition to the news channel in Arabic and Al Jazeera English (2006), Al Jazeera Network has also launched a variety of specialized sports, documentary, children’s and live channels. In more recent years it has attempted to target regional markets outside the Arab region, such as Al Jazeera Balkans (2011), Al Jazeera Turk (2014) and Al Jazeera America (2014). Throughout this expansion the network has been surrounded by controversy, and its image problem has been a defining aspect of the network for some time (King & Zayani, 2008). Overall, Al Jazeera can be characterized as a fascinatingly unpredictable and unconventional media network in the contemporary global news landscape.

It is not only the Al Jazeera Network that has undergone a dramatic development over the last 20 years. The broader Arab media landscape has changed remarkably, with the development of a new Arab public sphere. In the competitive contemporary environment, Al Jazeera has expanded internationally, ­entering new markets in direct competition with major Western news media. In addition,...

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