- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 7, 2006

The notion of “global news” misses the point, says entrepreneur Tyler Cavell.

Major news organizations have reporters and bureaus throughout the world but when it comes to reporting the day’s news, the story is told almost exclusively from an American perspective.

Mr. Cavell, president and chief operating officer of Montreal-based Internet Broadcast Corp., wants to change that.

He debuted ibctoday.com in the United States last week. IBC news network, in partnership with news organizations across the globe, will feature broadcasts from countries’ local news outlets — with English subtitles.

The online television news site provides viewers free, on-demand access to international news, entertainment and sports.

“Last week is a perfect example,” Mr. Cavell explained, referring to an attack on the Italian Embassy in Turkey. “We have the leading broadcaster in Turkey; when this guy shot on the embassy, we had the story first and we got the news from their perspective.”

Mr. Cavell likens his venture to CNN on a global, yet more localized, scale.

“CNN reached out to broadcasters all over America and pulled them into a national news network. What we’ve done is reached out to the leading broadcasters of the world, from Turkey to Canada to Asia, and pulled them together on an international broadcast site.”

Traditional media should view IBC as a partner who can expand their reach — not a competitor, he said. IBC has made deals with the Associated Press, Reuters and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. along with news agencies in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Look for IBC to roll out at least one additional partnership per week, Mr. Cavell added.

Tune in … where?

No word yet on how local viewers can tune in to Al Jazeera International, the English-language version of the Arabic news network set to debut one week from today.

A representative for Comcast, which serves most of the Washington area, said the company has no deal with Al Jazeera, despite some discussions. Likewise, a spokesman for Fairfax-area provider Cox said the company has no plans to carry the new channel.

A spokesman said DirecTV doesn’t plan to, either.

So how will D.C. residents catch a glimpsel?

“Al Jazeera International will be available at launch in the U.S. in a variety of formats. We will announce specific details of our global distribution in the coming weeks,” said commercial director Lindsey Oliver.

Public interference

The Federal Communications Commission is still considering a request made last month by National Public Radio to review its policies on FM modulators used to play satellite radios, IPods and other MP3 devices in cars.

A recent NPR study found that more than 30 percent of the devices are too powerful and risk interfering with public radio station signals.

“On behalf of thousands of adversely affected listeners, and NPR’s 820 member stations, I urge the Commission to institute a thorough review of this matter to preserve the technical integrity of our public service offerings to the American people,” NPR chief Ken Stern wrote Oct. 12 to FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin.

Currently it is up to makers of FM devices to ensure their products do not exceed legal levels.

Channel Surfing runs on Wednesdays. Kara Rowland can be reached at 202/636-3139 or [email protected]

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