AL JAZEERA TO CLOSE OUTLET IN USA

Story by Richard Mejia Managing Editor

Major global media platform Al Jazeera announced the closure of its North American subsidiary Al Jazeera America on Wednesday, Jan. 13. 

The news network will cease all communications both on-air and through digital platforms by Apr. 30, according to a company-wide memo sent to all employees. The corporation cited a lack of television ratings as well as online advertisers for reasons as to why Al Jazeera America will soon be defunct.  

Over the past three years, Al Jazeera America has been notable for reporting global centric news in the United States, differing drastically from major American competitors CNN and FOX News. When breaking stories involving North American topics however, they were usually met with heavy scrutiny as it has been served with two lawsuits from Major League Baseball players for accusations of illegal substance use. 

In addition to the lawsuits and criticism, Al Jazeera America is on the cusp of a potential lawsuit with NFL quarterback Peyton Manning after reports that Manning had illegally acquired and ingested human growth hormones (HGH) over the course of his career. 

CSULB journalism professor Heloiza Herscovitz said, “It was a great source of global news especially for young and aspiring journalists. The kind of reporting they do isn’t found in the major American outlets and allows for a complete perspective for what is going on in the world.” 

Notwithstanding the lack of financial and critical support, Al Jazeera America was a publication that sustained some of the credibility of its Qatar-based parent company. Al Jazeera has many times over been the topic of discussion with in-depth coverage of plights in the Middle East as well as objective and hard-hitting coverage on major worldwide issues. 

Journalism major Cesar Jimenez, 24, said, “I am not completely sure it is a complete loss. They missed on big stories too many times and had too many GFE’s (gross factual errors) for me to take them they seriously…I really don’t believe their style of journalism is where the industry is headed.” 

Campus-wide as well as throughout social media, there is a definite split of opinion on the fate of Al Jazeera America. It is curious to see what fallout will be with international media subsidies attempting to report in North America as well as the sustainability of Al Jazeera. Along with European media heavyweight BBC, Al Jazeera is one of the premier sources of international news, but depending on the backlash following April, the corporation might be in for a long summer. 

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ASI SPOTLIGHT

Story by Karrie Comfort Contributor

Although ASI President Jose Salazar attends countless meetings to represent the student body, a portion of the executive branch that should not be forgotten are the President’s cabinet members. Beverly De La Rosa, the Secretary for Disability Affairs, is one of them and takes great pride in helping her constituency.

De La Rosa is a “super senior” and will soon be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, option in statistics.

Earlier this year, De La Rosa helped facilitate Disability Week, which involved various events such as Dark Climbing at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, as well as a Q&A panel with disabled students.

She accredits some of her drive to her mom, whom she describes as “a strong and independent woman…self-made, caring, humble, and patient, which is shown in her experience as a geriatric caretaker.”

More than anything, De La Rosa wants students to know, “ASI seeks to represent the entire student population and make sure they are given opportunities to succeed.” In her mind the main purpose of ASI is to “foster individuals that develop skills, character, and friendships that will last a lifetime.”

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KBEACH SPORTSCAST CUT OFF MID-GAME

Story by Joel Martinez News Editor

On Thursday, Jan. 14, a conflict between KBeach Radio and University Student Union management resulted in a broadcast interruption during the LBSU Men’s Basketball game against UC Irvine. 

A team of KBeach volunteers was broadcasting from the main studio, located in the University Student Union, when at approximately 8 p.m. a USU building manager instructed them to leave.

“We were in the middle of broadcast already,” said Scott Takade, the board operator. “He kept saying his boss said that we need to evacuate the premises. I didn’t know what to tell him because we were live.”

According to Takade and Zach Cavanaugh, one of the studio volunteers, the building manager involved campus police after two verbal warnings. Jay Holloway, KBeach Radio’s News and Sports Director, subsequently got involved to attempt clearing up the conflict.

“We had been doing these broadcasts all over the course of winter break and nobody had ever said anything to us contrary,” said Cavanaugh. “We thought it was just a little bit of confusion until the campus police actually showed up.”

 “We were getting kicked off the air during a live basketball game broadcast…which was tough since we can’t just say we’re going to leave and not come back,” Holloway said. “That’s the punch we were dealt with and I was trying to do my best to conduct that in a professional manner.”

After Holloway explained the miscommunication to campus police, he and the studio crew were evicted from the building to a lack of permission from USU management. However, they were given permission to continue their broadcast less than 15 minutes later and they picked up the game coverage as quickly as possible, coming back before the first media time out of the game’s second half.

“I don’t know what exactly went on outside of it, but we were kicked out, waited, and then allowed back in,” Cavanaugh said. “It was just a surprise to have somebody tell us [we] had to leave.”

Though the issue was quickly resolved, the fact it occurred caused some concern among those involved.

“It shouldn’t happen again,” Holloway said. “The key problem that disturbs me is…we should all be on the same page. Men’s basketball in particular is a huge part of our listenership, and that cannot be cut off for any circumstances…We should not have been kicked out, but that’s not under my control.”

Interim Building Operations Manager Arlene Macavinta declined to comment.

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