Translation: Is the Whole World Watching?

Lorne Manly in the New York Times:

Manly4How you see something,” said Nigel Parsons, the managing director of Al Jazeera International, “depends very much on where you’re sitting.”

Those words could well serve as the manifesto for the channel, the English-language offspring of the polarizing pan-Arab network, which will make its debut in more than 40 million households in late May.

Addressing hundreds of journalists and academics who had come to Doha, Qatar, for the second Al Jazeera Forum, Mr. Parsons promised that the new channel — with its headquarters there and broadcast centers in Washington, London and Kuala Lumpur — will cover the stories and people that the Western-owned news media overlook. “We’re not going to be another CNN, BBC or Sky,” he told the attendees on the last day of January. “If we were, there’d be no point.” But, he added, “It’s not our position to tell viewers what to think.”

During a freewheeling question-and-answer session, the audience pressed him for details. With costs already surpassing a billion dollars, Al Jazeera is the most ambitious television network start-up in recent years. Will it be the first network to crack the Western monopoly on delivering news and opinion to a global audience? Will it provide an Arab and Muslim point of view to the rest of the world?

More here.