Al Jazeera America’s SOTU Coverage Plans

Here’s Al Jazeera America’s SOTU coverage plans…


Live Coverage from NY and DC Explores Issues Including Race Relations, Immigration, Extremism, Economy, Education, and Jobs– AJAM to Also Deliver Reaction from Around the Globe

Al Jazeera America will offer in-depth news and analysis on the State of the Union address live from New York and Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, January 20, from 7pm- midnight ET. Primetime anchor John Seigenthaler will broadcast live from NY along with Al Jazeera America anchors Tony Harris, Ray Suarez and White House correspondent Mike Viqueira along with NYU Professor of Campaign Management Jeanne Zaino. The network will air special State of the Union programming focusing on major issues facing the nation and the world including: global extremism after the Paris massacre, the economy, gridlock politics, race relations after Ferguson, and immigration.

Guests will include: Colonel Cedric Leighton, former Air Force Colonel/former member of joint chiefs; Ambassador James Jeffries, former ambassador to both Iraq and Turkey and former Deputy National Security Advisor; Tricia Rose, Brown University professor of Africana Studies; Cesar Vargas, Dream Action Coalition; Mo Elleithee, DNC Communications Director.

Leading up to, during, and after the speech Al Jazeera America’s Wajahat Ali (Co-host of AJAM’s The Stream) will be live at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. examining issues bubbling up on social media as the team monitors tweets from members of Congress and the world in real-time. In addition, Al Jazeera America correspondents Michael Shure and Libby Casey will be live on Capitol Hill with interviews and post-speech analysis. AJAM’s David Shuster will also provide analysis and report results of the first-ever Al Jazeera America/Monmouth University nationwide poll.

From 7-7:30pm, the network will air a special edition of Real Money with Ali Velshi: “The State of the Economy.” (An hour-long version of this show will air later in the evening.) From 7:30-9pm, the network will present pre-speech countdown with poll results and team coverage including remotes from Peter Sharp in Moscow, Jane Arraf in Baghdad and David Ariosto in Havana.

At 9pm ET, from the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Al Jazeera America will present live coverage of the President’s address, the GOP response, and analysis and commentary.

Al Jazeera America correspondents will also present the following live remotes and packages:

• Nick Schifrin reports live from Jerusalem – STATE OF THE UNION: A Year of Global Extremism.
• Heidi Zhou Castro reports live from Dallas – STATE OF THE UNION: A Year of Immigration.
• Ash-har Quraishi reports live from Ferguson, Missouri – Race and political activism post-Ferguson.
• David Ariosto reports live from Havana, Cuba.
• Jake Ward reports on race bias and legal justice.
• Patricia Sabga looks at change in the economy over the past six years of the Obama administration.
• Dana Lewis reports live from London on immigration challenges throughout Europe and backlash post Charlie Hebbdo massacre.

From 10:30pm-midnight, the network will present post-speech analysis, special guests, and discussion of the run for the White House 2016. In addition, an hour-long Real Money with Ali Velshi will examine the state of the economy and the middle class from the start of Obama administration through today.

Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 20, the network’s website will feature in-depth pieces about the issues that President Obama is expected to cover in his speech and post-speech reaction with stories from D.C. correspondent Naureen Khan and an examination of what the “real state of the union” is through different lenses from Gregg Levine. The website will also include Opinion pieces: Economics by Dean Baker, Foreign Policy by Ali Gharib, Justice by Lauren Carasik, Gender by Lynn Parramore, Technology by Josh Kopstein, Health by Mary Turck, Energy/Environment by David Cay Johnston, Social services by Susan Greenbaum and Race by Rev. Osagyefo Sekou.

Leading up to the State of the Union address, the network will roll out its second annual #DearPOTUS campaign asking Americans what single thing – one policy, one issue, one bill, one idea, one principle they most want President Obama to address in the coming year. Requests can be submitted on a piece of paper or poster, starting with the phrase “Dear Mr. President” and posted on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #DearPOTUS.


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