For Immediate Release
WBAI (99.5 FM) Launches Al Jazeera-English on U.S. Airwaves
Only U.S. Network Radio presence providing On-the-Ground Coverage of the Protests in Egypt, Tunisia, and Elsewhere
NEW YORK - Pacifica Radio becomes the first
radio network to broadcast Al Jazeera English in U.S. on New York
flagship station WBAI (99.5 FM). The broadcast airs Monday through Friday
5 a.m. to 6 a.m.
"This week's on-the-scene reports from the protests in Egypt
have been absolutely riveting," said Berthold Reimers, General
Manager of WBAI.
As North Africa & The Middle East experience some of the most
tumultuous times in recent history, independent media is of paramount
importance as a voice of the People in the street, in the struggle, says
Tony Bates, the Program Director at WBAI. "WBAI has been and will
continue to be on the forefront of coverage as the world is changing
right before our eyes. Much of the breaking news has been brought to us
by the Al Jazeera and Al Jazeera English networks.
"WBAI is proud to of the Pacifica Network's exclusive partnership
with AJE. Hear the story first right here on WBAI 99.5 FM.
The world is changing. Don't be left behind," Bates stated in
an on-air promo. "Get the real story, the whole story, at 5 AM on Al
Jazeera-English on WBAI, the only Left, left."
The one hour of Al Jazeera English is followed at 6 a.m. by "WakeUp
Call" with Esther Armah and at 8 a.m. by the award-winning
"Democracy Now" with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. "WBAI
is broadcasting a formidable 4-hour daily block of 'Must Listen -
Happening Now' information every morning that cannot be heard
elsewhere," Reimers said.
Since it was launched in 2006, Al Jazeera English has become a world
leader in the coverage of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the
Americas. With news bureaus in 70 countries worldwide and a staff
of more than 1,000, Al Jazeera's aim of providing independent news
through a spirit of journalism that is honest, courageous and distinctive
for an international audience complements that of WBAI and its Pacifica
Mission. It is widely seen as the channel of reference for coverage of
the Middle East and the global south. Its broadcasts reach more
than 220 million households in more than 100 countries around the
Recently, the NY Times reported that cable networks will not touch Al
Jazeera English, so AJE's website traffic is exploding. WBAI's
partnership with Al Jazeera English gives radio listeners the opportunity
to tune in to Al Jazeera English in New York City and the surrounding
"Broadcasting on Pacifica Radio allows us to bring Al Jazeera
English's acclaimed news content to an even wider audience in the United
States," said Al Anstey, Managing Director of Al Jazeera English.
"For more than four years, Al Jazeera English has been setting new
standards in international reporting by providing a platform for stories
from the under-represented corners of the world. The demand for our
ground-breaking news and current affairs programming continues to grow in
the United States, and we look forward to providing Pacifica's listeners
with a global perspective on today's most important news
Arlene Engelhardt, the Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation in
Berkeley California, is one of the main Pacifica architects of the
partnership with Al Jazeera. She said, "Al Jazeera-English News is
an exciting addition to our current line-up of thought-provoking
programming. It is part of our mission at Pacifica to act as a bridge
between cultures and to present stories that are too often overlooked by
other media in the United States. Al Jazeera English is a truly global
channel, and we are pleased to provide this important news service to our
dedicated listeners throughout the country."
The new broadcast rounds out WBAI's roster of impressive news programs,
which include "Democracy Now!" with Amy Goodman and Juan
Gonzalez, "Wake Up Call" with Esther Armah, "WBAI Evening
News" with Jose Santiago, Andrea Sears and Rebecca Myles, "Five
O'Clock Shadow" with Polk Award journalist Robert Knight, and
"Free Speech Radio News." As part of the first
listener-supported network in the United States, Pacifica's WBAI provides
a variety of programming including local, national and international news
and music featuring live music from local musicians, and in-depth
interviews and public affairs analysis unavailable elsewhere.
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Al Jazeera English is the first English language world news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East. Launched in November 2006, Al Jazeera English seeks to present every side and every angle to its stories and act as a bridge between cultures. With unique access, making it the channel of reference for Middle East events, and 70 bureaus strategically placed around the world, Al Jazeera English provides independent and impartial news for a global audience, giving voice to different perspectives from under-reported regions around the world.
The channel was awarded "Best 24 Hour News Programme" at the 48th and 50th Annual Monte Carlo Television Festival and has received awards from the Royal Television Society, Amnesty International and YouTube. The channel has also received a total of six International Emmy nominations in the News, Documentary and Current Affairs categories.
For 50 years WBAI has been commercial-free listener-supported radio for the community, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Currently the 50,000-watt signal from the broadcast tower at the top of the Empire State Building carries programming to listeners from Connecticut to Delaware, New Jersey to upstate New York and Long Island, and to the five boroughs of New York City. In addition, programming can be heard over the internet at www.WBAI.org.