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#36361 - 19 Nov 06 09:01 JP/Al Jazeera English service debuts, but Jakartans have to wait
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
Al Jazeera English service debuts, but Jakartans will have to wait

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

In a world where global news has long been dominated by the Western media, offering the same news from a different perspective can win audiences and worldwide recognition.

"Al Jazeera in English? You've got to be kidding me," said Jakarta resident and professor Kemal Taruc recently.

Those familiar with the Qatar-based television network may have had similar reactions to the launch of Al Jazeera English, distributed via satellite, which was made official Wednesday.

But while in other countries the channel is readily available through satellite and cable services, Indonesian viewers will temporarily have to make do with live streaming through the 3G WAP service offered by the country's second-largest telecommunications provider, Excelcomindo.

"There is a very exciting audience in Indonesia. We are talking with all the operators, but have yet to reach any official cooperation," Al Jazeera English commercial director Lindsey Oliver explained from Doha.

Indonesia currently has three satellite and cable television service providers -- Indovision, Kabelvision and Direct Vision -- serving slightly more than 150,000 subscribers in Jakarta alone.

"Some are skeptical, some challenging, but almost all are interested. We will finalize the deal by next year," Oliver added.

An affiliate of Indonesia's Direct Vision, Astro, provides the service in Al Jazeera's Asian hub of Malaysia. Direct Vision says it needs to further improve its network, however, before being able to provide the channel.

"We will consider adding favorite channels like Al Jazeera after the Measat-3 satellite has been launched, providing us with more space for expansion," said Direct Vision vice president for corporate affairs Halim Mahfudz.

In addition to cable, ADSL, mobile platforms and satellite, Al Jazeera English will be available through the Internet.

The new English program "is part of our efforts to reach English-speaking viewers and reveal more from developing and underdeveloped countries," company spokeswoman Charlotte Dent said from Doha on Thursday in a telephone interview with The Jakarta Post.

The new channel is expected by many to provide a different take on global news.

After making its name in the Afghan war with exclusive footage of Osama bin Laden, the Qatar-based station drew fierce criticism for showing footage of dead U.S. soldiers in Iraq and prisoners of war, newswire Reuters reported.

Al Jazeera began airing in Arabic in 1996. The initial common consensus was that the maverick Arab channel wouldn't last. Now it has started its second decade by opening three regional headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, London and Washington D.C.

"We are looking at stories of global interest, but also different kinds from developing countries," the station's bureau chief for Asia, Trish Carter, said from Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, also in a phone interview with the Post.

"It will be more balanced, different from the Western perspective," she added.

Media observer Ade Armando said the channel would provide the Indonesian media industry with more sources to enrich the currently Western-dominated global news.

A new movement of news services countering the flow of information from the north is taking place.

Moscow's state-funded Russia Today channel, which launched in 2005, and pan-African 24-hour news network A24, scheduled to launch by the end of 2007, are among them, according to Reuters.

"It (Al Jazeera) becomes more important for Indonesia to balance reporting on Islamic issues, which we often see angled for certain political interests by the Western media," Ade said.

Live streams can be obtained through the Al Jazeera website,, with additional features ranging from e-mail newsletters to interactive discussion boards.
KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated

#36363 - 19 Nov 06 10:20 Re: JP/Al Jazeera English service debuts, but Jakartans have to w [Re: KuKuKaChu]
riccardo Offline

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
I read this article and came away quite confused. What does the lead paragraph mean??

Later, it tells us that RI has 3 cable/satellite companies, but totally neglects to say if or when any will be showing AJInt'l. I hope my Kabelvision does.

But then it gets more confusing when it says: "A new movement of news services countering the flow of information from the north is taking place." But the next sentence says Moscow has launched Russia Today. Is Moscow no longer in the "north"??

Why do Indonesians insist on using these archaic terms like West and East (those are obsolete Cold War terms for US/Nato-allied states and Soviet-allied states.) If by "north" they are talking about the economic development term referring to the "north-south divide" that's even more obsolete, ever since Australia, NZ, RSA and the OPEC mideast oil states became legitimately rich nations in the 60s and 70s.

I think it goes back to what many have mentioned before that Indonesians stop learning and studying as soon as they finish their schooling -- which in this writer's case must've been in the late 70s. Then again, the teachers and lecturers stopped learning in the 60s or 70s too, so that's what they teach current students, who, of course, are not allowed to question the "*wisdom*" of their teachers/elders. [/rant over]
Just here proffering my pearls to swine, my throat to wolves and my trousers to the flagpole.

#36365 - 19 Nov 06 10:35 Re: JP/Al Jazeera English service debuts, but Jakartans have to w [Re: riccardo]
KuKuKaChu Moderator Offline
Pooh Bah

Registered: 09 Oct 05
Posts: 10790
Loc: Centre of the Universe
written by a tired journalist -- if you will permit me to use such a term -- and edited by a couldn't-give-a-fuck desk editor.

KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated


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