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Transcript by Newsy****
BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN
You're watching multisource business video news analysis from Newsy.
If the headline writers are also soothsayers - NBC’s news operations are in for a big change.
An LA Times article warns, “Culture shock likely as Comcast takes over NBC.” Perhaps -- a timely prediction:
“Today marks the first day of Comcast and NBC Universal uniting as one company to bring you guys the very best news and entertainment programming on the planet.” (E! News)
But media watchers worry NBC’s news operations could change with the merger. Comcast says it won’t mess with NBC’s news division but after the high-profile and abrupt departure of MSNBC star Keith Olbermann last week - analysts suggested otherwise.
ANDERSON COOPER: “Both Comcast and NBC denied that their merger had anything to do with Olbermann's departure. Do you buy that? I heard even last summer, from folks in the industry saying Comcast is not going to put up with this.”
ANALYST: “Everybody agreed that Comcast would be very unlikely to put up with Keith's behavior, let's say, and prima donna activities. I don't think it was coincidentally motivated." (CNN)
And Comcast is definitely aware of the potential perception problem. USA Today reports the company promises it won’t be cutting time for local newscasts at the 10 NBC stations it owns for the next three years. Still - USA Today suggests it’s hard to imagine the merger won’t at least influence news operations.
“Comcast will control the No. 1 evening newscast (Nightly News), morning newscast (The Today Show), and Sunday talk show (Meet the Press). ... The executives have little experience in news... some observers wonder whether Comcast appreciates the nuances of the interests it must balance in the TV news properties it will run.”
And the stakes are high -- at least financially. According to the Pew Research Center, NBC’s news operations generated $1.8 billion in 2009. But local NBC stations like Miami’s WTVJ are promising viewers -- news content won’t change with the merger.
ANCHOR: “As a viewer you can expect the same level of news reporting you have been allowing us to bring into your home every day. But it was surely very exciting.
ANCHOR 2: “Yes indeed.”
But some observers aren’t so convinced. American Public Media spoke with a Hollywood Reporter editor -- who suggests Comcast could shift money spent on news somewhere deemed more profitable.
MATTHEW BELLONI: “Maybe they're going to go for sports, try to put big sporting events on their Versus network, so they can try to build that up and create a competitor to ESPN.”
In a statement distributed to NBC employees Thursday -- Comcast said, “We take our business seriously, but do not take ourselves too seriously."
Get more multisource business video news analysis from Newsy.
BY EMOKE BEBIAK
You're watching multisource global video news analysis from Newsy.
SAM DONALDSON: “Talking about propaganda for Al Jazeera. Thank you for what you’re doing. People say Al Jazeera has fanned the flames here by bringing the fact that democracy is in existence, that people are being suppressed. That’s what we need. We need more communication in the world.”
As the political climate escalates in Egypt and other Arab countries, Al Jazeera English is being roundly praised for its coverage of the unrest. According to The New York Times – its online live stream has gotten more than 1.6 million U.S. views. Al Jazeera isn’t available on cable TV in most of the United States.
But that might be about to change.
Huffington Post contributor Jeff Jarvis calls for public access to Al Jazeera English, which is currently not carried by most U.S. broadcasters.
“Vital, world-changing news is occurring in the Middle East and no one -- not the xenophobic or celebrity-obsessed or cut-to-the-bone American media -- can bring the perspective, insight, and on-the-scene reporting Al Jazeera English can.”
The new-found interest in Al Jazeera’s coverage comes from its reporting on the crisis in Egypt.
The New York Times reports Al Jazeera’s strength is in its constant presence in the Arab world.
“Al Jazeera English ... is indisputably unique. In recent days, the channel ... has gained attention for its up-close, around-the-clock coverage of the protests... While American television networks were scrambling to move reporters and producers into Cairo, the Al Jazeera channels were already there.”
ABC News’s Nick Schifrin explains Al Jazeera’s main appeal is its willingness to voice several viewpoints -- even of those seen as underdogs.
“If in the US Al Jazeera is seen as anti-US, in the Arab world, by the Arab governments, it’s seen as a threat. Because what it does is, one of its mottos is, giving voice to the voiceless. And what it will do is go on to the streets and give voice to the people who haven’t had a voice when only the state governments have provided the voice across the Arab world.”
But the idea of broadcasting Al Jazeera English in the U.S. has met some criticism.
Israel National News considers the political significance of Al Jazeera, saying there’s a reason the network is not widely carried by U.S. broadcasters in the first place -- its history.
“...after the September 11 massacre, Al-Jazeera rebroadcast excerpts from a 1998 statement with terrorist leader Osama bin Laden dozens of times... In the statement, Bin Laden called on Muslims to kill Americans, Christians and Jews.”
Finally - the media blog TV Newser suggests it’ll take more than a few words of praise to convince cable giants to offer Al Jazeera -- there are political, financial and contractual considerations. And in the end - the blog muses...
“The network’s coverage of Egypt has been superb, but like its American counterparts, once the big news event dies down, the quality of its coverage often declines with it. Will the people calling for AJE now be tuning in regularly once Cablevision starts carrying it on channel 180? Don’t bet on it.”
So what do you think? Should U.S. broadcasters carry Al Jazeera English?
Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy.
Transcript by Newsy.
*******www.cabletvcompanies****/ Cable TV Companies are reviewed in every major US city. Check out our listings of the best cable TV provider in my area and in yours.
Jon Q tackles the biggest tech rumors of this week! In this episode, the latest on the leaks and rumors revolving around Apple's iPad Mini, the Apple TV set-top-box and the iPhone 5!
GOOD Magazine assets, video. In 2006, Al Jazeera launched an international, 24-hour English language news network, ten years after Al Jazeera Arabic began. It’s one of the most far-reaching, global news networks, after the BCC and CNN, and is the first international channel that doesn’t have its roots in the Western world. The U.S. government had loved Al Jazeera Arabic, but that quickly changed after the network began reporting on casualties from the American military campaign in Afghanistan and broadcasting Osama bin Laden’s releases. Al Jazeera English has an image problem to contend with, and no major American cable provider has picked up the channel. But the journalists at this new network see themselves as proving objective reports from, and for, a part of the world that has long been underserved by other news organizations. For more information, please visit *******www.goodmagazine****/. From Wiredset Digital Agency.
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