Visually browse the latest news from Al Jazeera using Chrome. Explore the latest news by region, watch recent episodes of Al Jazeera’s news programs or watch a live stream from the English version of the Qatar-based network.
It’s a growing trend – news organizations providing Chrome “apps”, built on HTML5. The New York Times app lets you read content from that newspaper, while NPR’s app lets you read and listen to the news. It’s no wonder that Al Jazeera English, experiencing a growing viewer base from the strength of their coverage of the Arab Spring, wants to join them in catering to the millions of Chrome users out there.
Is this app worth checking out? I think so. It’s visually-oriented and simple to use, and presents a variety of news stories not covered by other news outlets. If you want to check out the news from a different perspective I highly recommend it.
Browsing The News
and you’ll be presented with the day’s top headlines. The visual style is similar to Flipboard and other iPad news applications. Note that you can browse by region, if you like, and that you can also bring up business or sports news.
You can click a story to read an article; sometimes you’ll also get access to a video. You can use the left and right button on your keyboard to turn the page on your current story.
Unlike the apps for NPR or The New York Times, you cannot use keyboard shortcuts to navigate from one story to another. This gets frustrating if you’re not a fan of switching from keyboard to mouse frequently, but the app still works quite well.
Is there a particular show on Al Jazeera you like to watch on a regular basis? You can browse and watch shows here.
Different shows focus on different regions or subjects; be sure to explore here if you’re not familiar with the channel’s content. The shows are arranged alphabetically, and you can even subscribe to individual shows if you’d like. Doing so means you’ll see a Chrome Alert each time a new episode is ready for you to watch.
Perfer to see what’s happening right now? The app also offers a live stream of Al Jazeera, allowing you to watch the news as it happens.
Give this a chance. It might not become your primary news source, but watching news broadcast from other places can be fascinating and enlightening.
On Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera made a name for itself during the Arab spring, though what that name is depends on your perspective. If you’re an Arab dictator, Al Jazeera is an American/Western/Israeli conspiracy to discredit you and transfer the authority in your country to the imperialists. You’ll probably send some thugs to beat up their journalists, and blame them for starting the protests.
Protesters, naturally, see the journalists primarily responsible for showing their protests to the world in a different light than dictators. Sadly, to many Americans, Al Jazeera remains “that terrorist network,” an incredibly ironic way to describe an institution spreading the democratic ideal of independent media in a region traditionally resistant to it.
Do you like? Are you more or less likely to get your news from them now that it exists? Let me know in the comments below. Or, if you prefer, make derogatory statements about Al Jazeera or myself. That’s a useful way to contribute to the discussion here too.