With the wall-to-wall coverage of candidates and polls we've watched and heard for almost a full year (remember all those GOP debates?), it's hard to believe the US presidential election is still several months away. But if you're like me, you might still feel disconnected -- even with 24/7 political coverage. The horse-race style programming that now dominates hot political seasons can be counterproductive -- further polarizing voters (or would-be voters) and reducing the election to personality gaffes of the candidates instead of issues that impact our lives on a daily basis.
Here's what I want to know during an election season and beyond: What are the facts behind the poll-question issues? What does it mean to be "pro-woman" or "anti-woman" or "pro-environment" or "pro-business" from a policy perspective -- in ways that really matter to all of us?
Luckily, my smart colleagues at Link TV agree.
As part of an effort to provide our audiences with in-depth, issue-oriented political coverage ahead of the US elections, we're happy to announce that Link TV will premiere Al Jazeera English's daily half-hour news program, "Inside Story Americas," on Tuesday, August 21st. The news program, produced out of Al Jazeera English's Washington DC news center, will air Monday through Friday on Link TV at 12pm ET/9am PT and again at 7pm ET/4pm PT -- and will be available online at LinkTV.org/InsideStoryAmericas.
Kicking off this fall with its "unconventional political convention coverage," the show will talk to people who are most affected by the policies and politics of the two parties, but are left out of the mainstream discussion. "Inside Story Americas" will go to the margins -- hearing from those protesting at the conventions and those calling for solutions that go beyond either party (The US political conventions take place during the last week of August and first week of September).
Hosted by Shihab Rattansi, the show offers expert analysis about what's behind the stories in the headlines and the issues affecting peoples' lives from Canada to the Caribbean to South America, as well as the policies and decisions made in Washington that impact the rest of the world. In its premiere months on Link, "Inside Story Americas" will examine topics as diverse as the Venezuelan elections to the structure of the global financial system. Already this year, "Inside Story Americas" has debated a range of topics from the struggle of Colombia's indigenous communities to the mainstream media's coverage of the link between climate change and extreme weather.
In the past year, Al Jazeera English was named "News Channel of the Year" by the Royal Television Society, received a Peabody Award for its coverage of the Arab Spring uprisings, a Columbia-DuPont award for its coverage of the Haiti earthquake, a George Polk Award and Robert F. Kennedy Grand Prize award for the film "Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark," and has been nominated for an Emmy Award for the social media discussion show "The Stream."
And by the way, if you can't get enough Al Jazeera English programming on Link TV, there's more: In addition to the new carriage of "Inside Story Americas," Link TV airs Al Jazeera English news bulletins daily at 8:30am ET/5:30am PT, 1:30pm ET/10:30am PT, 10pm ET/7pm PT and airs the Al Jazeera English documentary series, "Witness," every Sunday at 8pm ET and 8pm PT.
We hope you'll tune in and check it out. After watching several episodes online, I feel a little smarter already.