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Al Jazeera to launch conservative US platform 'Rightly' Open in fullscreen

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Al Jazeera to launch conservative US platform 'Rightly'

Al Jazeera will launch 'Rightly' [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 February, 2021

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Qatar-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera will launch a centre-right news platform in the United States.

Qatar-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera will launch a centre-right news platform in the United States, the network said Tuesday, five years after shuttering a mainstream cable news broadcasting project in the US.

Al-Jazeera said in a statement that "Rightly" would be a "new US-based digital platform that will generate content for audiences currently underrepresented in today's media environment".

The platform will soft launch with a studio interview programme hosted by libertarian broadcaster Stephen Kent that will be available on social media channels on February 25, it added.

The statement did not give a date for a full launch.

"We are hoping to create a platform that amplifies the voices of an array of personalities that more accurately reflects the racial, cultural and generational diversity of centre-right politics in America than existing outlets," said Rightly editor-in-chief Scott Norvell.

Norvell helped launch the right-wing Fox News in 1996.

Cable channel Al-Jazeera America, launched with great fanfare in 2013 by the Qatari state-backed media group, failed and was shut down in 2016.

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The channel struggled to attract more than a minuscule audience.

Al-Jazeera paid some $500 million to launch the cable news operation aimed at rivalling CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

In mid-2013, the channel went live after hiring some 850 staff and opening 12 bureaus in the United States and a state-of-the art studio in New York.

The channel hired high-profile journalists from CNN and other networks and began with 14 hours of daily news programming.

No viewership figures were publicly released but some reports said the audience was only around 30,000 for the key prime-time hours.

The network maintained a news gathering operation in the United States as well as an outpost of its digital outlet AJ+, which targets millennial viewers with viral content and multimedia production.

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