American journalism has taken another severe hit. Al Jazeera America will shut down its cable TV channel tomorrow. An unsustainable business model is the reason given for its inability to continue the broadcast. Several weeks ago, it was forced to close down its website. (Fortunately, the worldwide website remains in operation.)
The loss of Al Jazeera America will leave a huge vacuum in US news coverage. Their journalism was actually worthy of the name. They set a very high bar for in-depth reporting from countries all over the world (many of which, I’m sad to say, a large number of Americans probably don’t even know exist).
I would hate to think that the Arabic logo and name had a role in its failure. One thing that can be said is that they have shown a real commitment to impartiality. Qatar, the organization’s worldwide headquarters, has itself come under serious scrutiny for governmental corruption and failure to protect human rights. A good example has been the abuse of workers involved in the building of facilities for the 2022 World Cup. (By the way, the decision to award Qatar that major tournament has itself been subjected to investigations of wrongdoing.)