Al Jazeera to open new European hub in the Shard


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The Independent Online

Britain’s position as a global media centre will be further enhanced next week when Al-Jazeera opens its new European hub on the 16 floor of the Shard, the continent’s tallest building.

The global news network, owned by the state of Qatar, will start broadcasting from the new 28,000 square foot studios with a staff of nearly 200 on Tuesday. Given that The Shard is 87 stories and 308m high, and 95 per cent owned by the Emir of Qatar, Al-Jazeera could have picked a much higher vantage point.

Anil Chaman, Al Jazeera’s Technology Manager for Europe, told The Independent that the 16th floor was picked after lengthy experiments in the empty building using time-lapse cameras to show London views at different times of day. A lower floor would not have captured the skyline, while a higher one would have ruined the perspective, he said.

“The 16th floor gave us the most natural backdrop of London views,” he added.

Al-Jazeera chose London as its back-up to its Doha headquarters partly because of its unrivalled abundance of translators and expert commentators, said Chaman.