DM: If the goal is to be true to the idea of multipolar transparency, then this is very bad news. And I admit that I find that to be a higher goal than being a thoroughly respectable, thoroughly professional, but somewhat regional or region-specific voice. And I think that Al Jazeera is headed in that slightly lesser but still to me very respectable, and in terms of viewing choices, very necessary channel. And the coverage of Latin America and Africa in particular is just so terrific, that if that’s the only reason you would watch is to stay up on the half of the planet that none of our networks or news channels are going to tell us much about, you would want to watch it for that alone. But you know, the thing that I loved best about the original concept was the sort of fugue of points of view and opinions, because I think that’s what desperately needed in the world. We need to know, for example, in America, how angry the rest of the world is at Americans. Our own news media tend to shelter us from this very unpleasant news. So if you watched and every piece seemed tendentious and pissed you off, and I don’t think that would be the case, but even if worst case the channel turned shrill and shallow, you would still want to watch them on the principle that millions—tens of millions—of people watch them every day and you need to know what’s going on in their brains.

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Brent Cunningham is CJR’s managing editor.