The Arab satellite television station al-Jazeera is launching an English-language service today in an attempt to rival CNN and the BBC.
The service will be broadcast from the station's headquarters in Qatar and will reach an estimated 80 million homes, mainly in Europe and the Middle East.
Al-Jazeera has already shaken up journalism in the Middle East, where it has been banned from operating in 18 countries at one time or another.
The station is famous for its independent streak and its willingness to discuss taboo subjects and criticise autocratic regimes in the Islamic world.
It has also angered the US Government for broadcasting communiques from al-Qa'ida leaders and for its often graphic coverage of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.