July 5, 2022

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QATAR: Altering the Channel

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ALEXIS CRUZ WRITES- This 12 months, two pan-Arab tv channels have been launched with the aspirations of offering an unbiased media platform. Al-Arab launched in Bahrain on February 1. Its proprietor, Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal, promised that he may run the channel with none political interference and arrange the bottom in Bahrain supposedly to keep away from Saudi censors. Nevertheless, hours after Al-Arab launched, the Bahraini authorities shut it down after it ran an interview with a Bahraini authorities opposition activist.

The opposite channel is Al Araby, backed by a personal Qatari media firm. The channel is seen as a rival to Al Jazeera and an try to distance Qatar from the Muslim Brotherhood. The station relies in London together with the web site Al Araby Al Jadeed to evade Qatari censors. The web site started in March 2013 and later began publishing a newspaper. Each are modest however formidable publications that concentrate on Arab youth. In a massively symbolic transfer, Al Araby launched on January 25, 2015, the fourth anniversary of the Egyptian revolution to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak.

To date, comparisons to Al Jazeera haven’t been optimistic. Much like Al Jazeera, Al Araby was accused of getting a pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias in Egypt days after its launch. Azmi Bishara, a Palestinian scholar near Emir of Qatar, supervises the channel (though he overtly opposes the Brotherhood) and its CEO, Islam Lotfy, was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and was expelled from the group. Lotfy has said that there isn’t any Qatari interference on the channel’s editorial coverage.

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Al Araby has not garnered sufficient prominence to rival Al Jazeera. In March, the channel supplied examples of a number of feminine Arab anchors placing down obnoxious male visitors after a video of a feminine Lebanese tv host reducing off the microphone of a impolite male visitor grew to become viral amongst Western viewers. The piece targeted on the truth that this was truly a typical phenomenon, stressing Western misunderstandings of Center Japanese gender dynamics.

Though Al Jazeera has confronted backlash for a while within the Center East, there may be stiff competitors in Arab tv. Most viewers have turned to Saudi-owned channel Al-Arabiya, which gives a extra conservative viewpoint. The area is already saturated with closely partisan media, a lot of it opposing Qatar’s insurance policies. The truth that Al Araby continues to be on the air is an accomplishment, however it stays far behind its expansive targets.

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