When anyone talks about the Arab nations, the first thing that pops up in the mind of most people is oil, tall buildings, and countries with an urge to become a superpower soon. But do you know that Arabic countries are playing a big role in the global media as well?
Going through the statistics, you will find that nine giant firms are currently dominating the global media. Some of these firms are Viacom, Disney, Time Warner, Bertelsmann, and many more. But numbers can also lie as such statistics never show the contribution of Arabic news channels.
While looking at the global media, you must have never heard of channels like Al Jazeera. You will be surprised to know that this amazing news channel gets more views than all the Pan-Arab News channels combined. But this is just a glimpse of what the Arabic news channels have to offer to the whole world, and therefore, in this blog post, we will discuss all that you need to know about Arabic news channels and their role in the global media.
The growth of Al Jazeera
It was the month of November 1996 when a government-funded TV station from Qatar started broadcasting six hours a day in Arabic, raising an eyebrow among the audience. Although the start was unique and enticing, it took almost 15 years for Al Jazeera to stretch its success beyond the boundaries of Middle-East countries.
Now, Al Jazeera has become so successful that the networks of this channel aren’t only popular in Arabic countries, but they have become the central part of the global media as well. The high degree of editorial freedom given by the Qatari government made Al Jazeera a fan favorite channel since people at that time showed a strong aversion to the state-controlled channels that broadcasted only biased news.
There were many taboo issues brought on the panel discussion table of Al Jazeera, and this is how this channel built a name for itself in the world of journalism and the highest level of professionalism.
The role of BBC and closure of local bureaux
During the initial stage of the channel, many recruitments were made directly from BBC, which launched a unique Arab-based news channel just a couple of years ago. But this unique Arabic news channel from the BBC was soon shut down because of censorship issues raised by the Saudi government. At that time, it was Saudi Arabia that controlled the relevant satellites.
The credibility of Al Jazeera kept on increasing with time, and it was fueled when the Arab government took the massive decision of closing down their local bureaux and when they started to expel journalists whenever the coverage offended the government. There was even a time when the whole Algerian regime was the culprit behind the power cut to stop people from watching a few channels and programs.
The wars and al-Qaeda
But it was not until 2001 when Al Jazeera started spreading its popularity to the west. Before 2001, Al Jazeera was the only TV channel with 24 hours satellite link to Kabul, even during the Afghan wars, and a long list of western channels used the rare footage captured by Al Jazeera. This is what marked the beginning of the increasing popularity of Al Jazeera in the west.
In addition to this, one more thing that made Al-Jazeera a leading player in the global media; video messages from al-Qaeda leaders. No channel on the globe used to play video messages from al-Qaeda leaders, and Al-Jazeera acted as a medium to connect what the leaders from al-Qaida demanded and what they thought about the current situation.
The belief of EMIR in Al-Jazeera
Even European Market Infrastructure Regulation has high hopes from Al-Jazeera, and this is why they never thought twice before investing in this Arabic news channel. You will be surprised to know that EMIR poured millions of dollars in Al-Jazeera, and Al-Jazeera paid out by helping in putting Qatar on the map both diplomatically and politically.
Although many people blame Al-Jazeera for reporting only on Qatar, no one can deny the role Al-Jazeera has played in promoting the free flow of information and bringing out all the old taboos on the table and in front of the audience.
By now, you must have understood how Al-Jazeera had become one of the most prominent players in the global media, and it is the only Arabic news channel that has witnessed such a type of success on the worldwide map.