If you are a news junky, after you’ve read your Madera Tribune this morning you might want to tune in to two relatively new cable news channels — One America News Network and Al Jazeera America.
These two relatively new ventures deliver mixtures of national and international news, and do it seriously. In a day when most news channels spend a good deal of their time breathlessly telling what’s trending on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, these two channels give a plain menu of what’s going on in Washington, D.C., Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America and the far east.
Al Jazeera has a particularly good report on the Mideast, which isn’t surprising considering that the channel’s headquarters are in Doha, the capital of Qatar, one of the Gulf countries. Al Jazeera tries its best to be editorially independent, and has become one of the most highly regarded news sources worldwide.
One America News Network is only about a year old, with offices in San Diego and Washington, D.C., and has yet to make a reputation for itself. However, it is very patriotic. Its station breaks are often given over to readings of the Preamble to the Constitution, among other things. Along with its news presentations, it also has opinion shows, clearly labeled as such. “News and opinion are supposed to be separate,” a commentator is wont to say.
Neither Al Jazeera nor One America News Network has the advantage of a big staff; most of the programming is from freelancers. While the faces and voices of those freelancers aren’t familiar, they seem reliable. Both stations give over enough broadcast time so stories can be told in depth — or in as much depth as it is possible to provide in a broadcast cycle.
Neither channel has fancy sets. Their on-air people are presentable, but hardly glamorous. They give the impression of being solid.
Will they bump off any of the big network news providers? Probably not. But they are an interesting option when one grows tired of reports on the latest cat videos on YouTube. Not even our cat is interested in those.