Al Jazeera (Arabic: الجزيرة al-ǧazīrah, literally "The Island", abbreviating "The Peninsula"; also Aljazeera or JSC ) is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Initially launched as an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel, Al Jazeera has since expanded into a network with several outlets, including the Internet and specialty TV channels in multiple languages. Al Jazeera is accessible in several world regions.
The original Al Jazeera channel's willingness to broadcast dissenting views, for example on call-in shows, created controversies in the Arab States of the Persian Gulf. The station gained worldwide attention following the outbreak of war in Afghanistan, when it was the only channel to cover the war live, from its office there.
In the 2000s, the network was praised by the Index on Censorship for circumventing censorship and contributing to the free exchange of information in the Arab world, and by the Webby Awards, who nominated it as one of the five best news web sites, along with BBC News, National Geographic and The Smoking Gun. It was also voted by brandchannel.com readers as the fifth most influential global brand behind Apple, Google, Ikea and Starbucks. In 2011 Salon.com noted Al Jazeera's coverage of the 2011 Egyptian protests as superior to that of the American news media, while U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also opined that the network's news coverage was more informative, and less opinion-driven than American journalism.