The first Jewish 24-hour TV news channel began broadcasting Wednesday in an effort to offer the international community an alternative to Al Jazeera.
Jewish News One (JN1) launched its broadcast from Brussels with producer Peter Dickinson announcing, "We are on air, JN1 began international broadcasting,” according to European Jewish Press (EJP).
Competing with existing media conglomerates such as CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera may prove to be a difficult task. For example, Al Jazeera TV broadcasts to more than 220 million households in more than 100 countries, according to its website. Several news agencies reporting on the station launch have dubbed JN1 as the "Jewish Al Jazeera."
JN1 is currently based in Brussels, with offices in Tel Aviv and Kiev. Plans include expanding to Berlin, Moscow, Paris, Washington, D.C., and London.
During the opening of the broadcast, Vadim Rabinovitch, Vice-President of the European Jewish Union (EJU), a group focused on promoting Jewish life in Europe, released dozens of balloons bearing the news station’s logo to mark what he called “a historic day,” EJP reported.
Rabinovitch is the co-owner of JN1, along with EJU President Igor Kolomoisky.
JN1 began broadcasting via satellite, cable network and Internet, to Europe, North America and the Middle East. Alexander Zanzer, who is the head of the Brussels bureau, said the station’s focus is to present news from a Jewish perspective, according to EJP.
"We’ll broadcast everything that is newsworthy: general news, economic, cultural and educational topics," Zanzer said. “The channel would like to give a broad view on world events through Jewish glasses.”
Al Jazeera, which initially launched as an Arabic satellite news channel, has expanded to include Internet and other TV channels in multiple languages, including English. JN1 has similar plans to expand into other language markets.
"We plan to move forward with further languages including French, Hebrew, Italian, Russian and German," Dickinson said.