Former CNN anchor Ali Velshi, who will join Al Jazeera America when it launches in July, has a column in Quartz detailing how to make cable news more appealing to news consumers. Assuming he actually believes in and plans on implementing these things, here's what Al Jazeera America viewers can expect from the Qatar-based network, if only from Velshi's show...
Less celebrity news: "They like celebrities and entertainment news; they just don’t want their general news sources obsessing about them at the expense of other important and useful stories."
Less "extremism": "[D]isaffected viewers, who [are] generally political moderates, [do] not see themselves or their views fairly represented in cable TV debates about important issues. They feel that extremism crowds out useful solutions-based discussions."
Clearer lines between news and opinion: "[T]hey crave both multiple mainstream sides to a story, and alternative viewpoints. But they feel they can’t get that breadth from moderators who’ve already decided which side is right."
More in-depth reporting: "[T]hey want more of what feels like real journalism, rather than “infotainment.” They want real reporting; a more expensive form of journalism than booking a day’s worth of unpaid guests, but the research indicates that doing so may win the loyalty of these viewers."
So, there it is. Then again, which TV news outlet hasn't claimed to do these things? Fox News is "fair and balanced." MSNBC
is was "the place for politics." CNN is... "This is CNN." (Whatever that means.)