His Big Idea: Ehab Al Shihabi

Can Al Jazeera make it in America?
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Ehab Al Shihabi LEAD.jpg

Al Jazeera has made a big bet: They're launching a TV news network in America, and they're not being shy about the investment. As of January, they had posted more than one hundred U.S.-based job positions, and they've snagged big names like former CNN anchor Ali Velshi. Despite a period of post-9/11 suspecion toward the network, its executive director of international operations, Ehab Al Shihabi, says there's now an audience for it in the U.S.

"If you see the landscape, you will see a huge void ... in America that demands informative, in-depth, investigative journalism. Their demographic is a young demographic from 25 to 50. Their demographic is technically savvy. Their demographic is family-oriented. Their demographic [needs] information to make decisions that matter to them. I'm not debating that Fox and MSNBC have their audience. But I am filling a big gap that currently exists."

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Emma Green is the assistant managing editor of TheAtlantic.com, where she also oversees the National Channel and writes about religion and culture.

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