(NEWSER– Al Jazeera America launches this afternoon, and while some analysts believe the channel's entry to cable line-ups is a development as important as the launch of CNN or the Fox News Channel, others wonder if the new channel and its formula of serious, in-depth news will ever be able to attract more than a handful of viewers.

  • The channel has decided to focus heavily on US news, and its "seemingly limitless financing" from the Qatari government may be "its biggest strength and its most remarked-upon weakness," writes Brian Stelter at theNew York Times. With 900 staff, it is "one of the most significant investments in TV journalism in modern times," he notes. The channel has bureaus in New York City; Washington, DC; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Dallas; Detroit; Chicago; Denver; Miami; Seattle; Nashville; and New Orleans.

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