Sheila MacVicar – CBS, ABC, CNN – Latest News Pro Joining Al Jazeera

Tuesday, 16 Jul 2013 10:45 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Sheila MacVicar, a veteran news correspondent who primarily reported out of London, has been hired by Al Jazeera America.

The Canadian-born news correspondent is the latest in a series of prominent journalists who has joined the American branch of the Middle East broadcaster, which earlier this year announced its intention to launch a major expansion in the U.S. media market.

Other recent hires by Al Jazeera America include former CNN anchors Soledad O'Brien and Ali Velshi.

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Having begun her career in Canada working for CNN, ABC, and CBS News, MacVicar left CBS in 2010 to pursue consultant work.

On Al Jazeera America, MacVicar will be featured in a five-day-a-week report titled "America Tonight," which will be modeled after ABC News' "Nightline" according to the Associated Press.

"The one thing we will not be reporting very much on is what the Kardashians are doing and that, I think, is very refreshing," MacVicar told the AP when asked about her new contract with Al Jazeera America. "I think there is a real market for this."

MacVicar added that after relocating from Europe to the U.S. in recent years, she was struck by what she described as the amount of opinion rather than journalism in U.S. news.

"I like to get my hands dirty" digging up facts, MacVicar told AP, saying the new network seemed to be a good place for her.

When asked about the recent controversy surrounding Al Jazeera's coverage of Egypt with relation to the military's removal of former President Mohamed Morsi, MacVicar did read about it, but lacked firsthand knowledge of the incident.

"I wouldn't have signed my contract if I did not believe I would have editorial independence," she told the AP. "If at any point somebody suggests that I should be reporting a certain story in a particular way because it would serve someone's interests, then I would be out the door. And not quietly."

Twenty-two staffers of TV station Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr reportedly resigned Monday for what they called biased coverage by their editors.

Preparing for an August launch, Al Jazeera America announced its first four news anchors last week.

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The anchors, Jonathan Betz, Richelle Carey, Morgan Fogarty and Del Walters, will be reporting out of Al Jazeera America's New York City studio.

Al-Jazeera, the Pan-Arab news channel owned by the government of Qatar, acquired Al Gore's Current TV for the purchase price of $500 million, boosting its reach nearly ninefold to about 40 million homes.

The acquisition lifted Al-Jazeera's reach beyond a few large U.S. metropolitan areas including New York and Washington, where about 4.7 million homes can now watch Al-Jazeera English.

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