Gaza coverage: Al Jazeera America reports 30 percent surge in viewing

The Baltimore Sun

The audience for Al Jazeera America is up 30 percent overall the last two weeks during the Gaza conflict, the channel says.

In prime time, it's up 40 percent, compared to the month before.

What that translates to is the channel reaching 3.0 million unique viewers for the total day, and 1.4 million in prime time, according to an Al Jazeera America spokesperson.

That’s big news for the American brand of Al Jazeera that has been struggling in the ratings since its launch a year ago.

“When Al Jazeera America first debuted and was getting very weak ratings, my sense was that they needed a story they could own, that people would have to come to them for,” says Philip Seib, author of “The Al Jazeera Effect” and journalism professor at the University of Southern California. “Maybe this is going to be it.”

Al Jazeera America has featured outstanding coverage of the Gaza conflict. Its correspondents have been everywhere in Gaza and Jerusalem, but the channel has also covered protests around the world in reaction to the Israeli incursion and civilian casualties.

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