Posts tagged ‘Jeff Ballou’

A Historic Honor for Jeff Ballou

Photo via Penn State College of Communications

Photo via Penn State College of Communications

Jeff Ballou ’90 was elected the National Press Club‘s new president, making the Al Jazeera Media Network news editor the first African-American man to hold this title. With his election, Ballou is the 110th president of the organization and the first to represent a TV news outlet from outside of the United States.

As Ballou told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “When people think about Pittsburgh, they think about football, they think about huddles, they think about teamwork, and they think about winning. The National Press Club is a winner, and I want to create an environment where people say to themselves, ‘Being a member is a winning thing.’”

We spoke with Ballou back in 2011 about the work he did covering the Egyptian Revolution. You can read it here.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

December 19, 2016 at 3:51 pm Leave a comment

‘Lifting the Shroud’ on Al Jazeera English

Back in March, we talked with Jeff Ballou ’90, deputy news editor for Al Jazeera English. At the time, AJE was attracting thousands of new viewers for its 24/7 coverage of the Egypt riots. Jeff explained how the positive attention was helping to dispel some of Americans’ misconceptions about the Arab network—and expressed his hope that the public would continue to embrace it.

An editorial in the May/June Columbia Journalism Review echoes Jeff’s thoughts. According to the article, Al Jazeera has earned an unfair “anti-American” label, and the hostility from cable systems—who are wary about picking up the network—is unwarranted. (Right now the only cable systems in the U.S. that offer AJE are in Washington, D.C.; Burlington, Vt.; and parts of Ohio.) Americans are hungry for this global perspective, claim the writers, and resistance is based on “racism and Islamophobia.” Check out the quotes from former Nightline reporter David Marash, who says AJE’s fair-minded reporting is “the model of television news coverage.”

Mary Murphy, associate editor

June 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

Catching up with Al Jazeera’s Jeff Ballou

When the Egyptian protests broke out in January, Al Jazeera English quickly emerged as one of the top sources for 24/7 news coverage. Thanks to the network’s live online broadcasts, web traffic to the Al Jazeera English website exploded, with an increase of more than 2,500 percent, with 50 percent of those web visitors coming from the U.S. There’s now talk of the network landing a spot on U.S. cable and dish lineups.

Jeff Ballou ’90 is deputy news editor for Al Jazeera English. Since 2006, Ballou has worked from the network’s Washington, D.C., bureau, vetting and gathering news from the Western hemisphere for its global news bulletins. We checked in with Jeff this week to hear about his experience covering Egypt’s revolution (spoiler alert: no sleep) and the future of Al Jazeera English.

Al Jazeera English seemed to “scoop” many of its competitors with the live broadcast from Egypt. Why was providing this coverage important?

I think what’s really interesting is that events have been unfolding so fast across the region that from the time I finally had time to address Egypt, we had gone full-on covering Libya—thanks to actions attributed to Muammar Gaddafi, a far more violent, graphic, and disturbing story. And we still have to keep Tunisia, Yemen, and Bahrain on the radar.

We provided in-depth coverage on Egypt first because it was an enormous story. There has not been this kind of recent popular uprising in at least two decades a la Eastern Europe. Second, as the one major independent global news network not based in the West, we felt it important to not only cover the unfolding events, but explain them with the experience and analysis like no one else could.

In the past, Al Jazeera has been criticized for having an anti-American bias. How do you respond to that? (more…)

March 1, 2011 at 10:47 am 2 comments

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