Al Jazeera Balkans ia a 24-hour Bosnian-language channel. Using a regional network of correspondents, as well as a global network of correspondent offices Al Jazeera network, Al Jazeera Balkans brings both regional and global news, and reports on the region to viewers around the world.
Al Jazeera Balkans (AJB) is an international news television station headquartered in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina aimed at the media markets of the countries that used to be constituent units of SFR Yugoslavia. It is part of the Al Jazeera Media Network.
The station broadcasts in ″the common language spoken in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro″ (formerly usually referred to as Serbo-Croatian) from 7.30 to 3.30 CET (start and end 30 minutes later on the weekends), with subtitled Al Jazeera English programmes being shown the remainder of the day. Al Jazeera Balkans is a sister channel of the Arabic language Al Jazeera and the English language channel Al Jazeera English.
The station broadcasts news analysis and features as well as documentaries, live debates, current affairs, business, technology, and sports highlights.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
With the September 2010 announcement of Qatar Media Corporation buying NTV 99 with a view of turning it into a Balkans-wide news channel, Boro Kontić, head of the Open Society-funded journalist training facility Mediacenter in Sarajevo, likened the arrival of the Arab media conglomerate to the atmosphere before the start of the Bosnian War, when it was announced that Sarajevo was to become regional headquarters for the European TV channel Euronews: “People aren’t afraid of a new war, exactly, but rather political upheaval. People feel they are being monitored, if such a large international media company moves into the local market. But it has the potential to become an objective and independent information channel in the Balkans and it could also help to overcome the petty interests that arose after the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia – be it in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia or Montenegro”.In terms of Al Jazeera Balkans viewership prospects, Kontić said: “In the beginning it will probably be interesting for people to watch it, because they may be tired of local television stations — so-called public stations, but what are in essence politically controlled. So they may be interested to see whether there is a different perspective on the region [from Al-Jazeera]. But we have a saying: a wonder lasts but three days”.
Borka Rudić, general secretary of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Journalists Association, found Al Jazeera’s decision to come to Bosnia-Herzegovina especially interesting in light of the country not having a strong media market, saying: “Money is not the reason behind the network’s decision to settle here. No TV station is completely immune to the desire for political influence. I believe Al Jazeera will affect the public opinion in Bosnia, but I don’t fear the strengthening influence of radical Islamic forces. I do not think that the arrival of Al Jazeera immediately increases the influence from the East, or that this was the motive for Al Jazeera to settle in Sarajevo”.