Al Jazeera exec stresses need for high quality, in-depth journalism with USC Annenberg faculty

Ehab Al Shihabi, interim CEO at Al Jazeera America, joined fellows of the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy (CCLP) and other USC Annenberg faculty members on Monday April 28 for a salon-style discussion. The meet-and-greet set the stage for possible collaborations between Al Jazeera America and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. "I just want to say what a privilege it is for us at the Annenberg School to have this chance to just have a brainstorming session," said CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan. "Thank you very much for having us here," said Al Shihabi. "I…

Al Jazeera America anchor: We never hear from Qatar

WASHINGTON — We never hear from Doha. That was the assertion by Joie Chen, Washington anchor for Al Jazeera America at Monday's CCLP Washington Communication Leadership forum. "I have never been to Doha," she said, "and I haven't heard from anyone in Doha." Rejecting criticism that Al Jazeera America is an instrument of the government of Qatar, which funds the new network, Chen said Al Jazeera America should be compared to the BBC or NPR, not to the VOA or Russia Today. "We are not in the public diplomacy business," said Chen. "We are in the journalism business."…

Chinese TV expands into social media, with new app – for reporters

WASHINGTON – Chinese state television has embraced social media as a tool to expand its influence, according to its top consultant in the U.S. Speaking at a CCLP forum here, Jim Laurie described CCTV's expansion into social networks. Laurie said 300 CCTV reporters worldwide will soon carry a unique app that, as soon as they file a report, simultaneously transmits versions to China's Weibo, which has 369 million users, and to its English-language Facebook and Twitter sites here in the U.S….

Secretary Clinton and the Information War

This article was written by CCLP Faculty Fellow Philip Seib. In testimony to Congress last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged the existence of an ongoing "information war" that the United States is losing. In addition to saying that "Al Jazeera is winning," Clinton pointed to the major investments in international broadcasting being made by China and Russia. The Chinese effort is of particular importance. As Secretary Clinton said, "We are in a competition for influence with China; let's put aside the moral, humanitarian, do-good side of what we believe in, and let's just talk straight realpolitik."…

Qatar’s Well-Funded Public Diplomacy

This article was written by CCLP Faculty Fellow Philip Seib. DOHA — Money is a wonderful thing. Qatar has plenty of it and is putting it to use in its expanded public diplomacy. With wealth rather than weaponry, Qatar is becoming a new kind of superpower. The tiny state's latest triumph is being named the site of the 2022 World Cup. In the run-up to that event, Qatar plans to build air-conditioned stadiums, a 25-mile bridge to Bahrain, a new city, Lusail, which will be home to 300,000 residents, plus a new array of luxury hotels and other amenities. During…