BBC launches Arabic TV channel/ Online TV today – تلفزيون بي بي سي ينطلق اليوم

The BBC has launched a new Arabic language TV channel.

The channel is free to everyone in North Africa and the Middle East with a satellite or cable connection.

It will distinguish itself from other state-funded channels by reporting “without fear or favour”, BBC World Service director Nigel Chapman said.

This is the BBC’s second attempt at an Arabic channel. The first closed in 1996 in the wake of an editorial dispute with its Saudi funders.

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Arabic article:

تلفزيون بي بي سي ينطلق اليوم

أطلقت شبكة بي بي سي العربية اليوم قناة تلفزيون اخبارية تعمل 12 ساعة يوميا ترتفع لاحقا الى 24 ساعة، وذلك في اطار تغييرات شاملة في الشبكة تتضمن تصميما جديدا لموقع بي بي سي العربية على الانترنت

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Watch BBC Arabic TV Live

BBC Arabic TV behind the scenes


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11 thoughts on “BBC launches Arabic TV channel/ Online TV today – تلفزيون بي بي سي ينطلق اليوم

  1. BBC Arabic channel has been launched at a crucial juncture of history as its target audience marks the fifth year of Iraq invasion. The audience in the Middle East and elsewhere will anxiously observe how BBC Arabic carries different messages across its different platforms.

    Take for example the BBC survey conducted about the situation in Iraq on the eve of the fifth year of invasion. A report on BBC World News Tonight on BBC4 cited a survey speaking about “safer neighbourhoods” and a “Sunni awakening” as signs of improvement.

    One wonder if footage of Adam Brook’s 17 March report on the boys’ race on Fallujah’s roads and his interview with Dr. Monjed Al-Rezali, Head of the Baghdad Morgue are used on BBC Arabic Channel and how the audiences respond to it.

    Similarly while reporting about events in Palestine, it will be interesting to see how diplomatic editor Mark Urban’s March 11 despatch from Gaza compares and contrasts with what is shown to BBC Arabic. This concerns how a story is framed and who gets a chance to be represented.

    The Arab information ministers recently adopted a “Charter of Principles” seeking to regulate satellite broadcasts, raising fears among media circles of a concerted move to muzzle stations. Some implications are already visible: Clock TV — owned by Lebanese and Libyan investors — canceled plans to start a new talk show called “Hour by Hour,” after the Egyptian government objected to it, apparently because it feared it would become a new voice of criticism. “Free speech in Egypt will not be the only victim here, it’s the whole Arab world,” said Khairi Ramadan, who was to host “Hour by Hour,” dubbing the charter a “huge step backward.” “There are serious fears of this charter and the bigger danger is to come.”

    Launched in this backdrop in a week when the OIC summit is held, can BBC Arabic with its 70 years engagement with the Arab audience signal a huge step forward?

    One wonders how in its interaction with the OIC leaders it upholds, promotes and strengthens the cause of free speech through raising awareness and prompting mobilization.

    In an arena where the perceptions are seen and shown through a lens of local biases, Above all, the Arab audience will judge if BBC Arabic as conciliatory media embodies certain idealized roles of media in the development and maintenance of a peaceful, democratic civil society. A conciliatory media is one that works to offer in-depth and diverse perspectives with regard to issues of collective social importance. In a typology that draws on existing research by Cottle (2006), Lynch & McGoldrick, and Howard outline seven characteristics of media that best serve a conciliatory function: (1) “image to the invisible”; (2) “claims, reason and public argumentation”; (3) “public performance and credibility”; (4) “personal accounts and experimental testimonies”; (5) “reconciling the past, towards the present”; (6) “media reflexivity”; (7) “bearing witness in a globalized world”; (8) Avoiding victimizing and demonizing terminology; and (9) demonstrating a commitment towards finding mutually agreeable political solutions rather than enflaming existing hostilities.

    It is proposed that, when a media organization embodies such characteristics, it can work towards debunking cross-cultural stereotypes, inject a multicultural knowledge into the public sphere, and even work to produce reconciliation among cultural antagonists. The big question here is whether BBC Arabic is up to the task?

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