Is Al Jazeera a reliable news source?

Much interest and alarm has risen as Al Jazeera News Agency is finally hitting American shores as a news channel rumored to go head to head with leading news networks such as MSNBC and CNN.

Al Jazeera, meaning “the island,” is a satellite television network headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Heavily regarded and awarded for its factual, straight-to-the-point, uncensored and informative news stories, Al Jazeera wishes to broadcast nothing but legitimate news as it branches out with Al Jazeera America.

I am enthusiastic about the station’s intent to go to such lengths to pursue news on important current affairs and not the usual court and celebrity news that often slips into American mass media.

The channel offers a truthful perspective and wide coverage of what’s occurring in the Middle East. Furthermore, they have the manpower to cover ground in America with bureaus set up in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and seven other big cities.

I believe this will serve as an excellent opportunity for America to be given a new view of what’s really going on in our world.

However, what worries me is the massive control Qatar’s government and royal family, the Al Thanis, have over the station. Al Jazeera English had issues when it first began because of the editing being done to its stories.

Stories were being tampered with in order to fit the interests of the Qatar government. Frustrated by their stories being changed, journalists left the network, which led to Al Jazeera reforming its methods and keeping all elements of the truth.

It has also been said that those issues have since been resolved and that Al Jazeera will give all journalists unlimited freedom when it comes to their stories.

There was also controversy with Al Jazeera coming to America because of its live feeds of Osama bin Laden on its channel addressing his jihadist followers. Would we really want such a group setting up in America?

In the end, I’m willing to set all things aside to see how Al Jazeera plans to change how Americans view the news. Nonethless, I am excited to see that someone is finally taking news seriously.

Check your local listing on the Al Jazeera website to see where you can watch or view the channel through its live feeds on its web page.