Report: Pacifica Negotiating To Carry Al Jazeera Audio
September 9, 2010 at 5:35 AM (PT)
The WASHINGTON POST is reporting that PACIFICA RADIO is negotiating to carry the audio portion of AL JAZEERA's English-language newscasts on its five owned-and-operated stations. AL JAZEERA's English network is presently available only on cable systems in WASHINGTON, TOLEDO and BURLINGTON, VT.
The talks have drawn criticism from within PACIFICA, the POST reports, with former WBAI/NEW YORK board member STEVE BROWN noting that AL JAZEERA, owned by and located in QATAR, "is a totally government owned and funded broadcast entity. It claims to be independent and unbiased, but what broadcast entity can afford to bite the hand that feeds it (especially when that hand can also, literally as well as metaphorically, cut out its tongue)?" BROWN also called attention to QATAR's record on human rights and treatment of women and political prisoners, and warned that "support from many and perhaps most of our Jewish listeners could vanish overnight."
PACIFICA owns WBAI; KPFK/LOS ANGELES; KPFT/HOUSTON; WPFW/WASHINGTON; and KPFA/BERKELEY-SAN FRANCISCO.
[What's your opinion of this possible move? Might it be interesting to hear AL JAZEERA, or do you prefer their coverage not be available, and if so -- why? Please share your opinion below.]