96. Name: William Youmans Title: The Media Economics and Cultural Politics of Al Jazeera English Institution: University of Michigan Country: US Date: 2012 Language: English Abstract: While global news media is not a new phenomenon, Al Jazeera English struggled to gain wide entry into the U.S. television market. A number of reasons explain this struggle, including the fact that international news from non-American perspective has never found sizable audiences in the United States. Al Jazeera as a brand was vilified by the administration of President Bush and many public commentators created a popular association between Al Jazeera and Al Qaeda in the minds of many Americans. In addition, the primary means of television distribution in the U.S. is cable, which is dominated nationally by a few, large, and risk-averse companies. In early 2011, however, AJE’s reputation in the United States changed dramatically as it came to be seen as a primary news source during the Arab Spring. While it experienced a fresh start with the political elite and wider reception in the American public, the U.S. cable industry remained reluctant to carry AJE, considering the potential audience not large enough. This has forced Al Jazeera English to primarily pursue online, mobile and other means of accessibility to American audiences.
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