Al Jazeera to Open Detroit News Bureau, Expand US Presence

Al Jazeera, the Arab media channel headquartered in Qatar, will open a Detroit bureau as part of the organization’s plan to consolidate its operations in the U.S. and provide both international and domestic news for American audiences.

Al Jazeera, the Arab media channel headquartered in Qatar, will open a Detroit bureau as part of the organization’s plan to consolidate its operations in the U.S. and provide both international and domestic news for American audiences. The network, which is funded by the royal family of Qatar, has more than 70 locations across the globe, including five U.S. news bureaus in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago.

Back in January, the Middle East news network announced the acquisition of cable channel Current TV—set up in 2002 by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and businessman Joel Hyatt—to create the American-based Al Jazeera America and reach more than 40 million American households. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but a USA Today report at the time estimated that the price was somewhere around half a billion dollars. Al Jazeera America will launch by fall 2014 using Current TV’s distribution network.

While the exact location of the recently announced Detroit news bureau has yet to be determined, the TV network plans to hire a journalism student from the Detroit area for an internship at its New York City headquarters in the United Nations Building.

“We want our reporters to be where the stories are, and Detroit continues to be where American business stories and trends are happening,” Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director of international operations for Al Jazeera, said in a news release. “Al Jazeera America knows that you have to have on-the-ground reporting from the Motor City to really cover America’s economic, financial and socially important news, and we’re excited about being here.”

When it launches, Al Jazeera America will broadcast from twelve news bureaus across the country—in Washington, D.C., New York City, Miami, Chicago, New Orleans, Nashville, Detroit, Denver, Dallas, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Detroit skyline image courtesy to author Bernt Rostad on Flickr