In 1981, the recently-launched 24-hour CNN had the great good fortune to instantly become the ‘go-to’ source for events of January 20, when the release of the US hostages from Tehran occurred at the exact moment that Ronald Reagan was being sworn in as president. A huge drama watched by the whole world. And they watched it on CNN.
In 1991, MSNBC hit the air just in time for Operation Dessert Storm – CNN was on air too, but perhaps because of their new kid on the block fiestiness, the opening days of that war belonged to MSNBC.
Now, that moment has arrived for Al Jazeera. They have grown in influence over the last decade, becoming the primary news source in the Arab world. They lost reporters in Iraq. They were on the street in Iran a year ago. There is, however, nothing in that part of the world quite like Egypt. And the story of what’s happening there this week is the global break out story for Al Jazeera. They’re all over it
WASHINGTON — As street protests raged across Egypt on Friday, with the future of the Arab world seeming to hang in the balance, rapt viewers across the region — and the globe — watched it unfold on Al Jazeera, which kept up an almost continuous live feed despite the Egyptian government’s repeated efforts to block broadcasts.