What comes next for Al Jazeera? asks Philip Seib. “On one level, the network is doing well. It has grown by leaps and bounds since its founding in 1996,” he writes. “But despite its expanding global reach, the Arab world’s flagship 24-hour satellite news channel must now face the fact that Arabs’ dependence on it is decreasing. As more and more of the region gains access to the Internet, a proliferation of information providers is eroding Al Jazeera’s dominance” and “its singular role as a unique provider of open, honest content may already be a thing of the past.”
This is not to predict the demise of Al Jazeera. The network will remain a significant player in Arab journalism and politics for many years to come. It will continue to merit careful scrutiny by governments that want to understand the region. But Al Jazeera will be, to a certain extent, a victim of its impressive success and is unlikely to retain the dominance it once enjoyed.