08 May, 2012

Sky News: another addition to news in Arabic

A new 24/7 Arabic news channel has just been launched: Sky News Arabia. It joins the now too many, competing channels airing news in Arabic which are mainly focused on news and events in the Middle East. For the last few days I have some times tuned in to the Arabic Sky News. In its presentation, it is very similar to its English sister channel. It claims that it would be 'objective', 'neutral' and 'impartial' in its news presentations and analysis.

Based in Abu Dhabi and with a team of hundreds of journalists, producers and technicians and offices in several countries worldwide, and with its reputation as a very much liked news in English channel - Sky News Arabia, is indeed formidable. But, can it be truly objective, neutral impartial in its coverage? Honestly, there is no news channel that's truly objective, neutral and impartial. All news channels have reporters, editors and advisers; whatever news these channels cover and air, depends on these people. People, who are in one way or another, like all people - subjective in one way or another. All news channels too, have some kind of agendas to be fulfilled - no matter what, or how much, they claim.

Watching Sky News, although some of the flashing Arabic letters displayed on the screen can do with some enlargement - it is technically super sleek and very advanced. And its presenters are excellent. And one thing is certain: Sky News Arabia, with all its flashy-state-of-the-art presentation, is not boring. But their news and analysis is very much similar to that of the other main Arabic news channels. So far, overall - they sway the viewer in the same direction as the other Arabic news channels and their analysis is not much different to the others. Will people who watch news in Arabic prefer it over the other news channels or even like it? Only time will tell.