O'Brien Readies For Al Jazeera America Launch

Al Jazeera's new American channel launches Aug 20. The Qatar-based network bought Al Gore's Current TV in January as a way to use it to launch their own 24-hour live news channel.

They have hired several American journalists, including CNN's Ali Velshi and Soledad O'Brien.

Soledad O'Brien's production company, Starfish Media Group, partnered with the new network as they have with HBO, CNN and National Georgraphic. She will be pieces as a special correspondent for the network's primetime current affairs magazine program "America Tonight." Starfish Media will also produce hour-long documentary specials for Al Jazeera including one on a return to Haiti which she covered in her 2010 CNN documentary, "Rescued."

"I think it really is what I look forward to in a production company, and I think it's being able to do those projects you're interested in and skip over the projects you're not interested in.

I think every network has to prove itself to its audience. Al Jazeera America has said they're going to do great storytelling, and I'm going to contribute to some great storytelling. I think that if they're able to do that, they'll be able to get an audience. If you look at the quality of the reporting from Al Jazeera English, it's excellent. If you look at their documentaries and how many awards they've won, it's clearly quality journalism. Al Jazeera produces straightforward reporting that's not framed by entertainment values."

More: http://www.ajr.org
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