NEW YORK, May 4, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Al Jazeera America refutes reports that the channel has allowed conduct which promotes intolerance or gender bias. These reports are false and malicious and are designed to mar the exceptional talent and diversity of its employees and the values that Al Jazeera America upholds.
Commenting on media reports, Chief Executive Officer Ehab Al Shihabi said, "Al Jazeera America does not tolerate any discriminatory conduct and we take great pride in the diversity of our organization and its leadership. The recent attacks on us as being anti-Semitic, sexist and anti-American are absurd. Al Jazeera America's values are based on the highest ethical standards and professionalism. Integrity and respect guide our conduct internally and externally."
Al Jazeera America has often been a target of critics and skeptics who made early predictions that the channel would not thrive in the United States. But it continues to prove its critics wrong and has clearly become a success story with award-winning programming and editorial content, a talented and diverse management team, and the best journalists in the business. In the short time since Al Jazeera America was launched in August 2013, its reporting has won many of the most prestigious awards in journalism.
Kate O'Brian, President of Al Jazeera America, stated "Al Jazeera America is a fresh and much-needed new approach for journalism in the US with serious journalists delivering in-depth news -- news that's making a positive difference in peoples' lives. I'm especially proud of the impact we've had and the awards we've won in the very short time since we launched."
Responding to reports and criticism of recent programing changes, O'Brian stated "Over the past 18 months Al Jazeera America has made a number of changes to its programs and adjustments to its initial plans as we've come to better understand what it takes to provide high quality journalism 24/7. The changes we've made have resulted in more focused programming and expanded field reporting. The way we report the news to our audience and our ability to do that reporting has not been affected."
"As an organization operating in a competitive business environment, we must make tough choices on where and how to spend our resources, and not everyone is going to be happy with those choices," says Al Shihabi, "but with our strategy we will ensure that the Al Jazeera brand continues to stand for quality journalism and news coverage from around the world for US audiences."
O'Brian further stated, "The programming changes we made were also designed to take better advantage of Al Jazeera's extraordinary global newsgathering and reporting capabilities."
Al Jazeera America recently announced that the channel started broadcasting more hours of live news programming from more locations across the US and the world. From 6am ET until 12 noon ET, Al Jazeera America now broadcasts a live morning news block hosted by a rotating roster of the channel's anchors and reporters. The updated morning news brings viewers an additional two hours of content from Al Jazeera America's headquarters in New York City, and is interwoven with live news broadcasts from Al Jazeera studios in Doha and London, the network's 82 bureau locations and field reporters around the world. The new format continues the in-depth coverage and fact-based information that Al Jazeera America is known for, while offering even more continuous, real-time news coverage.
Additionally, Al Jazeera America also extended its midday news coverage by an additional hour. This increased investment in daytime news gives viewers up-to-date and in-depth coverage of domestic US and global events from Al Jazeera's award-winning team of experienced journalists.
The network recently announced the launch of some exciting new programming, including:
- "Third Rail": A weekly hour-long current affairs program, hosted by Imran Garda, that will take a provocative look at controversial issues through a moderated, two-guest debate and panel discussion. Premieres Sunday May 17, at 6pm ET.
- "Ali Velshi On Target": A nightly, half-hour current affairs program hosted by award-winning journalist Ali Velshi that will include daily segments focused on signature themes including implications of the global economic situation for America, America's crumbling infrastructure, gaps in wealth, race and gender, and the influence of special interest groups in politics and the economy. Premieres Monday, May 11 at 10:30pm ET.
- "Compass with Sheila MacVicar": A primetime program focused exclusively on foreign policy issues. The half-hour, twice-monthly program will combine Al Jazeera America's commitment to original, unfiltered reporting with award-winning international journalist Sheila MacVicar's ability to put news into a global context and make connections to U.S. foreign policy goals. Premieres Sunday, May 10 at 9:30pm ET.
About Al Jazeera America
Al Jazeera America is the U.S. news channel that provides both domestic and international news for American audiences. Headquartered in New York City with bureaus in 12 cities across the United States, Al Jazeera America is available in more than 64 million homes in the U.S. on Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV Channel 347, Dish Network Channel 216, Verizon FiOS Channel 614 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 1219. The name "Al Jazeera" means "peninsula." Al Jazeera America's distinctive logo is a calligraphic design spelling "Al Jazeera" in Arabic. To find Al Jazeera America in your area, visit www.aljazeera.com/getajam.
Visit Al Jazeera America online at http://www.aljazeera.com/america for the latest updates. You can also like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/aljazeeraamerica, follow us on Twitter @AJAM (www.twitter.com/ajam) and join the conversation using #AlJazeeraAmerica.
SOURCE Al Jazeera America