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The Next Great TV Offering: Al Jazeera for Kids

By Meredith Carroll |

Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera plans to launch an English language channel for kids by the end of 2012

From the network that brought you exclusive video of Osama bin Laden directly following the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, comes a new network exclusively for children.

By the end of next year, the Doha, Qatar-based Al Jazeera television network plans to launch an English-language channel aimed at kids ages 7 to 15 that will be a mix of syndicated shows and original programming dubbed into English from the Arabic-language Al Jazeera Children’s Channel, which has been on the air since 2005.

Those behind the channel say it will share the same “edutainment” values found on PBS and the BBC. Among the offerings will be a cartoon called Saladin, which is told from the perspective of a Muslim warrior about the Crusades, a documentary, Still Alive in Gaza, about Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip, and The Qu’ran Recitation Contest in which kid contestants recite the Muslim holy book from memory. Other planned programming includes children oriented science shows.

Al Jazeera initially launched as an Arabic news and current affairs channel that has since expanded into several outlets. It grew to worldwide prominence following 9/11 when it covered the war in Afghanistan from its offices. Earlier this month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Al Jazeera provided more informative news coverage than other media outlets.

Executives are currently in discussion with Time Warner and Comcast to distribute the children’s channel in the United States.

Are you looking forward to getting Al Jazeera Children’s Channel in your home?

Image: Wikipedia

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About Meredith Carroll

meredith-carroll

Meredith Carroll

Meredith C. Carroll is an award-winning columnist and writer based in Aspen, Colorado. She can be found regularly on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post. From 2005-2012 her other column, "Meredith Pro Tem" ran in several newspapers, as well as occasionally on The Huffington Post since 2009. Read more about her (or don’t, whatever) at her website. Read bio and latest posts → Read Meredith's latest posts →

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14 thoughts on “The Next Great TV Offering: Al Jazeera for Kids

  1. AnotherJessica says:

    Frankly, this post is ignorant and discriminatory, and I’m somewhat appalled, but not surprised. Al Jazeera has been an important voice for Muslims seeking democracy, human rights, and the variety of other freedoms we take for granted here in the United States. But you, you’re trying to make it sound like it’s some kind of Hamas-tv copycat, or worse – not that you even know what that means, I suppose. Seriously, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  2. Meredith Carroll says:

    @Anotherjessica — Considering how much I’m looking forward to the channel and think it’ll be a great addition to the cable line-up, I’m not sure where you got ignorance and discrimination in the post? It was pretty straightforward.

  3. Kidvidkid says:

    I imagine AnotherJessica took her cue from the inflammatory lead.

    Al Jazeera Children’s Channel has entirely different management from the news channels, and has developed quite a strong reputation, both as a telecaster and as a co-production partner. The youth science series you reference, co-produced with Japan’s NHK, features perhaps the most exceptional visualizations of scientific concepts I’ve seen worldwide.

  4. Meredith Carroll says:

    @Kidvidkid — I would argue, as would Al Jazeera, that Al Jazeera came to prominence following 9/11 and the airing of the Osama bin Laden tapes. It’s not clear to me how pointing out what put them on the map makes the lede inflammatory. Again, this post couldn’t really be more straightforward. Any suggestion otherwise is puzzling, as far as I’m concerned.

  5. Kidvidkid says:

    Because your lead is irrelevant to the management and content of the children’s channel. It’s like leading an article about “Glee” by saying “from the company that brings you Glenn Beck.”

  6. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Kidvidkid, you can keep volleying the point at Meredith Carroll, who Rush Limbaugh once called a babe, but she’s gonna duck it like Neo every time…

  7. Meredith Carroll says:

    @Kidvidkid — Well, even though I’ve never watched Glenn Beck, I know enough to know that Fox made a name for itself way before he was ever on their network, so I wouldn’t lead a piece with that because it wouldn’t make a lot of sense.

    @MistressScorpio — How flattering that you took the time to read my bio. If you want the audio of me being belittled by Rush on his show, send me an email (the address is on my website) and I’ll shoot the mp3 back to you.

  8. TJDestry says:

    Obviously, the lede was intended to get attention. It did its job.

    You could also write about “Woody Harrelson, the son of a convicted murderer …” and it would be accurate, but would it be fair?

    Al Jazeera has a solid reputation for responsible, respected journalism, as you mention further down. If you really were just putting it in context, you could have said, “From the network that came to prominence with the first Mideastern-based coverage of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, comes a new network exclusively for children.”

    I don’t mind you looking for hits and attention, but please don’t insult our intelligence by pretending that was the only way to establish a context for this story.

  9. Bunnytwenty says:

    The objections to this article are puzzling – I’m pretty sensitive to anti-Muslim sentiment and I read this lede as meaning that Meredith regards Al Jazeera as an extremely important news source. Which it is.

  10. Meredith Carroll says:

    @Bunnytwenty — Thank you for chiming in. That was, indeed, my point.

  11. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Meredith, you made my point too. Context matters.

  12. bambee says:

    Wow, Lisa. Thanks for such kind support.

    Personally I’m looking forward to this. We ar a mixed faith household, I’m muslim my fella is catholic. A chance to educate and bond over learning more is going to be great.

  13. AnotherJessica says:

    Oh, sure, Meredith. What, exactly, from your article are you most looking forward to sharing with your children? More footage of Osama bin Laden? The Q’aran recitation show? Perhaps the “infotainment” about the Crusades you mentioned? If you’re really interested in this channel and its offerings, then how about some balanced commentary, instead of the inflammatory lead and biased opening statement? At least own up to your bias – don’t be disingenuous.
    If you truly are interested, then tell us why, please. I’d like to know, because your comments in the article certainly don’t make it clear.
    The only channel I watched for the Egyptian revolution? AJE, and for good reason.

    PS If you’re really never watched Glenn Beck, you’re missing something important. Totally crazy, but important.

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