This book analyzes how and why Al Jazeera English (AJE) became the channel of choice to understand the massive protests across the Arab world 2011. Aiming to explain the ‘Al Jazeera moment,’ it tracks the channel’s bumpy road towards international recognition in a longitudinal, in-depth analysis of the channel’s editorial profile and strategies. Studying AJE from its launch in mid-November 2006 to the ‘Arab Spring’, it explains and problematizes the channel’s ambitious editorial agenda and strategies, examines the internal conflicts, practical challenges and minor breakthroughs in its formative years.
The Al Jazeera-phenomenon has received massive attention, but it remains under-researched. The growth of transnational satellite television has transformed the global media landscape into a complex web of multi-vocal, multimedia and multi-directional flows. Based on a combination of policy-, production- and content analysis of comprehensive empirical data the book offers an innovative perspective on the theorization of global news contra-flows. By problematizing the distinctive characteristics of AJE, it examines the strategic motivation behind the channel and the ways in which its production processes and news profile are meant to be different from its Anglo-American competitors. These questions underscore a central nexus of the book: the changing relationship between transnational satellite news and power.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: The Al Jazeera Moment 2. A Strategic Contra-Flow? Al Jazeera-Qatari Relations 3. Editorial Strategies: The Challenges of "Reporting Back" 4. Reversing the News Flow? The News Geography on Al Jazeera English 5. A Voice of the Voiceless: Al Jazeera English's Source Hierarchies 6. Challenging the Spin: The Gaza War 2008-9 7. Suffering Up-Close: Al Jazeera English's Dramatic Visualizations 8. Beyond the Arab Spring: The Structural Contradictions of the Al Jazeera
Tine Ustad Figenschou is a Postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo, Norway. Figenschou has published widely on Al Jazeera English, and her work has appeared in Journalism, Media, Culture & Society, Global Media and Communication and International Journal of Communication.
'Al Jazeera and the Global Media Landscape does an excellent job of breaking down the pieces of this complex phenomenon of satellite news spanning the globe. It examines the motivation behind the network as well as the challenge of reaching a broad audience.' Geri Spieler, New York Journal of Books
"This is a terrific little book and another fine addition to an excellent series in internationalizing media studies. It deftly and succinctly folds the work of Al Jazeera English into many of the debates regarding international communication. The book can also serve as a nice introduction to Al Jazeera in general, beyond the English-language channel that is its main focus...the numerous literature reviews embedded in the text could serve as a valuable syllabus to those in the field, both beginners and advanced scholars. Summing Up: Highly recommended." - J. K. Chakars, Gwynedd Mercy University, CHOICE