Leading article: Television without borders

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The Independent Online

Welcome to al-Jazeera's English-language service, which went on air this week. Its Arabic-language parent shook up coverage of international affairs with war reports that sometimes seemed shocking. The new service will bring al-Jazeera's view of the world to a much wider audience, including those many countries - we would include our own - where the Arab world is often misunderstood. Now we will have the chance to see the world as the editors at al-Jazeera see it. We expect to be surprised, even repelled. We hope also to be challenged and entranced.

That established broadcasters, such as the BBC and CNN, now face competition for viewers worldwide is a positive development. The more other people can present their case to us directly, cutting across national borders and national interests, the better informed everyone will be. And with information, we hope, will come understanding.