Al Jazeera America promising to focus on U.S. news

Al Jazeera representatives seem aware that they are confronting an enormous marketing challenge. But they benefit from the public perception that they have boundlessly deep pockets, thanks to the oil and gas wealth of Qatar. Al Jazeera America has been portrayed by some as a giant stimulus project for American journalism at a time when other news organizations are suffering cutbacks. “This is the first big journalism hiring binge that anyone’s been on for a long time,” said the business reporter and anchor Ali Velshi when he left CNN in April for a prime time spot on Al Jazeera America…

“The precise split will vary from day to day depending only on what is newsworthy and important,” he said. “We expect most days will primarily be domestic news. But Al Jazeera’s 70 bureaus around the world will mean that we will have an unparalleled ability to report on important global stories that Americans are not seeing elsewhere. We will do that when it is warranted.”

The American channel’s daily schedule will consist mainly of live newscasts, with some talk shows and taped documentaries as well, according to an internal presentation reviewed by The New York Times. Three Al Jazeera English programs that are based in Washington, “The Stream,” “Inside Story Americas” and “Fault Lines,” are on the tentative schedule.

Its flagship nighttime show was to be titled “Main Street Journal,” according to the presentation, but is now “America Tonight.” The title is still subject to change.