The staff is something of a mini-UN: It includes Americans, Canadians, Britons, as well as Colombians and Lebanese. Mr. McKinney is a former Scottish TV journalist, as is evident from his brogue.
AJE operates independently of Al Jazeera Arabic, maintaining its own bureaus, journalists, and production staff – as well as broadcast centers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Doha, Qatar; London; and Washington. Each center is responsible for part of the channel's 24-hour broadcast and has "regional authority" when it comes to making editorial decisions. "That's the dramatic change that Al Jazeera English represents," says Will Stebbins, the Washington bureau chief, of the local decisionmaking.
At the top, AJE is governed by a team of news executives. But overall, a board of directors and code of ethics govern both the Arabic channel and AJE. The two channels do put reporters on each other's broadcasts.
AJE decidedly doesn't target an American audience with stories, which may be one reason it doesn't have much of one. Producers say stories have to reach a certain "threshold" of interest or importance – to have as much curiosity for someone in Islamabad as in Iowa. "It's about broadcasting to a world audience," says McKinney.