Al Arabiya

Al Arabiya

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Al Arabiya is a Pan-Arabist Saudi-owned Arabic-language television news channel. Launched on March 3, 2003, the channel is based in Dubai Media City
Dubai Media City
Dubai Media City , part of Dubai Holding, is a tax-free zone within Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It has been built by the Dubai government to boost UAE's media foothold, and has become a regional hub for media organizations including news agencies, publishing, online media, advertising, production,...

, United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

, and is majority-owned by the Saudi
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 broadcaster Middle East Broadcasting Center
Middle East Broadcasting Center
The Middle East Broadcasting Center Group is the first private free-to-air satellite broadcasting company in the Arab World which was launched in London in 1991 and later moved to its headquarters in Dubai in 2002. MBC Group provides multiple channels of information, interaction and entertainment...

 (MBC).

A free-to-air
Free-to-air
Free-to-air describes television and radio services broadcast in clear form, allowing any person with the appropriate receiving equipment to receive the signal and view or listen to the content without requiring a subscription or one-off fee...

 channel, Al Arabiya carries news, current affairs, business and financial markets, sports, talk shows, and documentaries. It is rated among the top pan-Arab stations by Middle East audiences. The channel has been criticized for having a "pro-Saudi agenda", and it was once banned in Iraq by the US-installed Governing Council for "incitement to murder" for broadcasting audio tapes of Saddam Hussein.

On January 26, 2009, American president
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 gave his first formal interview as president to the television channel.

Content and Al Jazeera rivalry


Al Arabiya was created to be a direct competitor of the Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

-based Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar...

. As a response to Al-Jazeera's criticism of the Saudi royal family throughout the 1990s, members of the Saudi royal family
House of Saud
The House of Saud , also called the Al Saud, is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia and one of the wealthiest and most powerful dynasties in the world. The family holds thousands of members...

 established Al-Arabiya in Dubai in 2002. According to a 2008 New York Times profile of Al Arabiya director Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed, the channel works "to cure Arab television of its penchant for radical politics and violence," with Al Jazeera as its main target.

Programs


saudi Special Mission is AlArabiya longest-running investigative journalism
Investigative journalism
Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, often involving crime, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. An investigative journalist may spend months or years researching and preparing a report. Investigative journalism...

/current affairs
Current affairs (news format)
Current Affairs is a genre of broadcast journalism where the emphasis is on detailed analysis and discussion of news stories that have recently occurred or are ongoing at the time of broadcast....

 television program. Broadcasts on Al Arabiya Pan Arab Channel based in Dubai, it premiered on 19 October 2003 and is still running. The Special Mission Team Founding the program did much to set the ongoing tone of the program.

Based on the Investigative Panorama
Panorama (TV series)
Panorama is a BBC Television current affairs documentary programme, which was first broadcast in 1953, and is the longest-running public affairs television programme in the world. Panorama has been presented by many well known BBC presenters, including Richard Dimbleby, Robin Day, David Dimbleby...

 concept, the program addresses a single issue in depth each week, showing either a locally produced program or a relevant documentary Stories from many areas in the World. The program has won many awards for investigative journalism, and broken many high-profile stories. A notable early example of this was the show's exposé on the appalling living conditions endured by many Children living in rural Africa, East Asia etc .

Special Mission is presented in a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, often involving crime, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing.

Special Mission is a program an investigative program that aims to uncover the truth about puzzling topics which are unclear to the public, by taking them step by step into the investigative process, and build the momentum accordingly. Issues like politics, economy, and even religion are addressed. The atmosphere of secrecy and caution creates the intensity of the program.
Presented by Correspondents and Reporters.

Investment and ownership


The original investment in Al Arabiya was $300 million by the Middle East Broadcasting Center
Middle East Broadcasting Center
The Middle East Broadcasting Center Group is the first private free-to-air satellite broadcasting company in the Arab World which was launched in London in 1991 and later moved to its headquarters in Dubai in 2002. MBC Group provides multiple channels of information, interaction and entertainment...

, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

's Hariri
Hariri
Hariri is a surname and derivative of harir which indicates a mercantile background at one point in that field.-Lebanon:*Bahia Hariri, Lebanese politician; sister of Rafic Hariri...

 Group, and other investors from Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

, and the Persian Gulf states
Arab states of the Persian Gulf
"Arab states of the Persian Gulf" or "Arab Persian Gulf states" or "Persian Gulf Arab states" or "Arabic Persian Gulf states" or "Arab States of The Gulf", are terms that refer to the six Arab states of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, bordering the Persian Gulf....

.

Track record and controversies


Al Arabiya was started in response to Quatar's pan-Arab satellite channel Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar...

, but has languished behind in audience popularity surveys, according to reports by University of Maryland professor Shibley Telhami
Shibley Telhami
Shibley Telhami is the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a nonresident senior fellow of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution....

. Al Arabiya has been criticized for being an arm of Saudi foreign policy, or what the United States would term public diplomacy, as it is seen as being part of "a concerted Saudi attempt to dominate the world of cable and satellite television media in the Arab world and steal the thunder of Egypt." Over the past couple of years several journalists and editors have been dismissed because of their coverage; In 2011 Al Arabiya fired Hafez El-Mirazi for criticizing the channel’s coverage of the Egyptian uprising while in 2009 Courtney C. Radsch
Courtney C. Radsch
Courtney Radsch is an American journalist, author and free expression advocate. She is currently the Freedom of Expression Officer at Freedom House...

 lost her job the day after publishing an article about safety problems on the national Emirates airline.

Al Arabiya had been banned from reporting from Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 by the country's interim government in November 2004 after it broadcast an audio tape on November 16 purportedly made by the deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

. The Iraqi government had also banned the channel on September 7, 2006 for one month for what it called "imprecise coverage".

On February 14, 2005, Al Arabiya was the first news satellite channel to air news of the assassination of Rafik Hariri
Rafik Hariri
Rafic Baha El Deen Al-Hariri , was a business tycoon and the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 until his resignation, 20 October 2004.He headed five cabinets during his tenure...

, who was one of its early investors.

On October 9, 2008, the Al Arabiya website (www.alarabiya.net) was hacked.

On September 2, 2008, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 expelled Al Arabiya's Tehran bureau chief Hassan Fahs. He was the third Al Arabiya correspondent expelled from Iran since the network opened an office there. On June 14, 2009 the Iranian government ordered the Al Arabiya office in Tehran to be closed for a week for "unfair reporting" of the Iranian presidential election
Iranian presidential election, 2009
Iran's tenth presidential election was held on 12 June 2009, with incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad running against three challengers. The next morning the Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official news agency, announced that with two-thirds of the votes counted, Ahmadinejad had won the election...

. Seven days later, amid the 2009 Iranian election protests
2009 Iranian election protests
Protests following the 2009 Iranian presidential election against the disputed victory of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and in support of opposition candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi occurred in major cities in Iran and around the world starting June 13, 2009...

, the network's office was "closed indefinitely" by the government.

Slain reporters


In September 2003 Al Arabiya reporter Mazen al-Tumeizi was killed on camera in Iraq when a US helicopter fired on a crowd in Haifa Street, Baghdad.

In February 2006, three Al Arabiya reporters were abducted and murdered while covering the aftermath of the bombing of a mosque in Samarra, Iraq. Among them was correspondent Atwar Bahjat
Atwar Bahjat
Atwar Bahjat was an Iraqi journalist and reporter for al-Arabiya television who was abducted and murdered while covering a story. She had previously worked for al-Jazeera...

, an Iraqi national

Barack Obama appearance


On January 26, 2009 President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 gave his first formal interview as president to Al Arabiya, delivering the message to the Muslim world
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

 that "Americans are not your enemy", while also reiterating that "Israel is a strong ally of the United States" and that they "will not stop being a strong ally of the United States". The White House contacted Al Arabiya's Washington Bureau chief, Hisham Melhem
Hisham Melhem
-Biography:Melhem studied philosophy at Villanova University, and after graduating in 1976 with his B.A., spent three years working on a doctorate in philosophy at Georgetown University, which he did not complete....

, directly just hours before the interview and asked him not to announce it until an official announcement was made by the administration.

Online


The Al Arabiya internet news service (alarabiya.net) was launched in 2004 initially in Arabic, and was joined by an English-language service in 2007, and Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 and Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

 services in 2008. The channel also operates a business website that covers financial news and market data from the Middle East in Arabic (alaswaq.net). The Al Arabiya News Channel is available live online on JumpTV
JumpTV
JumpTV Inc. is a Canadian company, the country's largest internet television carrier. JumpTV operates at the intersection of two growth sectors: Internet Protocol Television and ethnic media services...

 and Livestation
LiveStation
Livestation is a platform for distributing live television and radio broadcasts over a data network. It has been developed by Skinkers Ltd and is now a new company called Livestation Ltd...

.

The Al Arabiya website has been plagued with numerous technical difficulties during the Egyptian protests at the end of January, 2011. The site very often goes offline with error message as such:

"The website is down due to the heavy traffic to follow up with the Egyptian crisis and it will be back within three hours
(Time of message: 11GMT)"

Competitors

  • Al Jazeera
    Al Jazeera
    Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar...

  • BBC Arabic Television
    BBC Arabic Television
    BBC Arabic Television is a news and information television channel broadcast to the Middle East by the BBC. It was launched at 0956 GMT on 11 March 2008. The service was announced in October 2005 and was to start broadcasting in Autumn 2007, but was delayed...

  • Alhurra
    Alhurra
    Alhurra is a United States-based Arabic-language satellite TV channel funded by the U.S. Congress that broadcasts news and current affairs programming to audiences in the Middle East and North Africa...

  • Rusiya Al-Yaum
    Rusiya Al-Yaum
    Rusiya Al-Yaum a Russian TV news channel broadcasting in Arabic and headquartered in Moscow, Russia...

  • Al-Alam News Network
    Al-Alam News Network
    Al-Alam is an Iranian Arabic satellite TV station.The network's political coverage tends to be the most popular; however, other subjects, such as commentaries, analysis, business and sports also get a share of the audience. Programs are broadcast for over 300 million Arabic-speaking people around...


External links