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Al Jazeera America 'largely in sync' with other cable news outlets on Syria coverage

The Al Jazeera America logo seen outside their new television broadcast studio on West 34th Street August 16, 2013 in New York. Al Jazeera America, which will launch on August 20, will have its headquarters in New York. Getty Images

From a new Pew Research study:

The analysis of cable coverage during a crucial week in the Syria story found that in a number of areas-where stories originated, the focus of stories, key messages in stories and the mix of reporting and opinion-Al Jazeera America was largely in sync with its U.S. cable news competitors, most often CNN.

Like CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, Al Jazeera America devoted the biggest chunk of Syria coverage to the debate over whether the U.S. should become militarily involved in the conflict that pits the government of Bashar al-Assad against an array of rebel forces. The most common message conveyed in Al Jazeera's coverage-that the U.S. should get involved in the conflict-was also the No. 1 message on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.

Al Jazeera America President Kate O’Brian released a statement on the study Monday, calling it "gratifying."

On one hand, it's a positive result for AJA because it bolsters the Qatar-based network's credibility as a straight-reporting operation, despite what critics say. On the other, AJA isn't doing anything American viewers aren't already getting on other cable news channels, at least when it comes to foreign news which rarely captures America's collective attention.

Read Pew's full study here.


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