Television

Al Jazeera Intl to go live from 15 November; no govt ok yet for India feed

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MUMBAI: After a number of delays, Doha-based Al-Jazeera Network has set the launch of its English news and current affairs channel AL Jazeera International for 15 November.

The launch of the channel had earlier being deferred from April to September on account of series of constructions and technical glitches at its four centres in London, Doha, Kuala Lumpur and Washington.

The Indian feed continues to remain in the realm of uncertainities.

The English offshoot of the often controversial (at least to Western eyes) Al Jazeera Arabic language channel will kick off its inaugural broadcast from its headquarters at 12 GMT. The announcement of the launch coincides with the 10-year anniversary of Al Jazeera.

To be beamed off Pas10, Al Jazeera International has already set up shop in India with a bureau headed by Anmol Saxena, who has been in the business of television for some years now.

The Indian operation has been dogged by delays in government permission, which has also resulted in other aspects of the business of TV not being put in place.

For example, though Al Jazeera is said to be negotiating with a senior distribution personnel in India for the channel talks haven't been finalised as government permission is yet to come as of today, according to information available with Indiantelevision.com.

In all probability, the distribution activity would be outsourced in India to a company that is headed by a person who has done similar work in various media organisation.

Meanwhile on 15 November, the international channel will provide 12 hours of live news plus interview programmes and in-depth features and analysis from the world’s hot spots over a 24 hour day.

According to an official release, the channel will be positioned to reverse the information flow from South to North and to provide a voice to under-reported regions around the world.

With broadcast centres strategically placed in Doha, Kuala Lumpur, London and Washington DC, and supporting bureaux worldwide, Al Jazeera International aims to be a new force in the global English speaking media with the ability to seek out and cover different perspectives of news through on-the-ground reporting wherever news is made.

Al Jazeera Network director general Wadah Khanfar said: “We are extremely proud of what Al Jazeera has achieved over the past ten years. Al Jazeera today is an international media organisation. Al Jazeera International will build on the pioneering spirit of Al Jazeera and will carry our media model, based in the South, to the entire world."

He added: "The launching of the English Channel offers the chance to reach out to a new audience that is used to hearing the name of "Al Jazeera" without being able to watch it or to understand its language. The new channel will provide the same ground-breaking news and impartial and balanced journalism to the English speaking world.”

“It has been a fantastic endeavour to build this TV channel over the last two years with the support of the Al Jazeera network. Everyone involved in the project deserves credit,” said Al Jazeera International MD Nigel Parsons, adding, “We will extend the Al Jazeera spirit into the English-speaking world.”

Al Jazeera’s English language website, aljazeera.net/english is being re-launched with the launch of the English language channel to reflect the channel’s look and feel and editorial content.

It will showcase Al Jazeera International’s agenda setting editorial mission and will provide constantly updated coverage of news events from around the world, along with in-depth analysis and background.

It will provide RSS feeds, live streams and downloadable clips from the channel, as well as interactive discussions and polling. Programme and presenter information as well as weather reports, live business data and sport will also be available via the website, informs the statement.

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