International News is Trendy

Who would have ever thought we would see the day when global news became fashionable? In the United States? You must be joking. Ah, but it has. Al-Jazeera English, much-praised for its coverage in Egypt, is in heavy demand from American viewers seeking an international perspective on a global news. Countless articles – and I mean countless, have been written covering the rise of the fledgling network and why it is still struggling to be carried by major cable operators in this country. According to media reports, AJE management is set to meet with Comcast at the end of this month. But realizing an opportunity is not to be wasted, the BBC announced it would move its flagship U.S. news program BBC World News America from BBC America to the BBC World News channel starting March 28. The move is an attempt to bolster the profile of the news channel in the U.S.A which is distributed in six million homes on a 24-hour basis. As the New-York Times pointed out, cable operators are reluctant to carry international news channels. And while it maybe hard to quantify or translate the figures AJE received though online viewership into Nielsen ratings, one thing is certain; international news is trendy.

BBC News Online: North America

You might have noticed that the BBC News website received a bit of makeover. “A bit” is actually an understatement. This is the biggest overhaul of the news website since 2003. And what’s more interesting is an enhanced section has been created for readers in North America. Here’s what the BBC had to say on the development of the site.  “For the first time, from today, we will have a dedicated website team based in the BBC’s Washington DC office making sure that a new, North America edition front page reflects the stories, themes and issues which matter most to our users in the US and Canada, including – as now – the best possible selection of stories from around the site.”

World News America anchor Matt Frei will launch his own blog – American Frei –  in September after a “completely unplugged summer holiday.” Expect Twitter updates from Matt, State Department correspondent Kim Ghattas, and North America editor Mark Mardell. And finally, more online content in the form of a video blog updated by digital reporter Franz Strasser.