Can Al Jazeera make it in America? Former CNN/US president Jon Klein thinks so, as he told HuffPost Live host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin Friday.
"If they take the same approach that they take in the rest of the world, covering the rest of the world, if they applied that same approach to American news and American issues, I think they could be very successful," Klein said.
Klein compared Al Jazeera's "tough reporting about substantive issues" to CBS' "60 Minutes," which he pointed out is the top-rated news show in the country, and said that applying that approach to an entire network could prove successful. But as NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik and The Wrap founder Sharon Waxman pointed out, one key will be making sure the network, with what Folkenflik called its "British sensibility," doesn't alienate American viewers. Klein said that shouldn't be too hard to execute.
"So you hire Matt Taibbi, and now you have an American who casts a critical eye. Hire half the staff of '60 Minutes,' and now you have Americans who are telling these stories," Klein said. "That part of it is not the difficult part of it. The difficult part is what they've already mastered, which is doing the substantive reporting. But you can make it feel like an American network pretty easily."
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