Staff members of Al Jazeera have informed me that as soon as Al Jazeera America (AJAM) launches on August 20, American viewers will be unable to access the online livestream of Al Jazeera English (AJE). Because of restrictions imposed by cable providers, AJAM and AJE will both be unavailable to online viewers in the United States.
When Al Jazeera announced its purchase of Current TV in January, the network said it would broadcast sixty percent of its content from the US, and forty percent from its international AJE affiliate. All that changed in May, when the network decided that all of AJAM’s content would originate from the United States.
As a result of the move, the thousands of American news consumers who have turned to AJE for an alternative to the mind-numbing, sensationalistic content familiar to CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC will soon have to obtain a VPN proxy to watch its broadcasts anywhere outside the extremely limited area where it is currently available on cable, like in Washington DC and Los Angeles.
To make matters worse, because Time Warner
Al Jazeera sources have told me that the impending end of AJE’s free online broadcast in the United States has added to the wave of internal dissent provoked by the launch of AJAM. Among hardcore American news consumers hungry for adversarial reporting from around the globe, this development is not very likely to inspire much confidence either.