“Prof. Jeff Jarvis” Skewers Al Jazeera America on AJAM

Al Jazeera America published and then deleted an opinion piece written by “Prof. Jeff Jarvis” on Thursday. Jarvis is a Twitter account that skewers tech and media figures, especially tech jargon. The account, run by Rurik Bradbury, was most recently in the news for its post claiming that the Eiffel Tower had turned its lights off for the first time as a result of the Paris terror attacks. Jarvis’s jokes are often mistaken as serious, sometimes by those he is lampooning.

Jarvis’s article took aim at AJAM and five other “hot media start-ups,” including The Dodo, the New Republic, Pando Daily, Fusion, and Mic. Each start-up got a write-up and a GIF. Of AJAM, Jarvis wrote that they bucked the industry by “pulling their online video feed in favor of going cable-channel only.” AJAM’s coverage contracts, many of which were inherited from the previous Current TV, prevented the network from having a large amount of video online or a streaming feed of the channel.

Jarvis also wrote of AJAM’s long-term strategy, they were “positioning themselves to capture the millennial audience when it hits AARP age.” AJAM’s GIF was a woman launching a watermelon before the watermelon shoots back to hit her in the face.

AJAM removed the article and appended an editor’s note:

Al Jazeera America has removed the satirical piece originally posted on this link, which included commentary on our company that we believe was not appropriate given its imminent closure. Our goal in the closing stages of AJAM online and on TV is to honor the exceptional journalism and journalists that distinguished our brand, to maintain the respect that we have always shown to those we have covered since our launch, and to uphold our promise to deliver the highest quality journalism to our readers until the very last. We believe the satirical piece originally at this link failed to live up to these goals. We offer our apologies to our readers and to our staff.

It does appear that the article was intentional. The article was tagged as “Humor” and Jarvis’s author description was his Twitter bio, complete with the disclaimer that he is not real-life Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine.

When AJAM contacted AJAM, there was either no response or TKNN was directed to the editor’s note.

Jarvis seemed to take the deletion with humor. In typical fashion, Jarvis pledged to respond with a Medium post.

About Tyler

Tyler is the chief media reporter for TKNN, with the news organization since its founding in November of 2010. He has previously served as chief political reporter and chief political anchor for TKNN.

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