Al Jazeera plans to launch worldwide English-language channel

English language is on the way for Qatar-based satellite news network Al Jazeera with the launch of an English-only channel by the end of next year.

Press reports indicate the Arabic-language Al Jazeera, which has been banned in Iraq and drawn criticism from many in President George W. Bush’s administration, will initiate the English-language channel to present “both sides” of stories it says are unavailable from Western media.

The English-language channel will not be a mere translation of the Arabic-language offering, but a separate production designed for English speakers. The network plans to base the new channel in Qatar and open bureaus in Asia, Europe and North America. Up to 200 new employees worldwide will be hired for the new channel.

Currently, Al Jazeera is seeking to make its new English-language channel available worldwide via satellite, although the company says it initially may have trouble achieving its global distribution plans.

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