25 July, 2012

Al Mayadeen: a refreshing Arabic news channel

Al Mayadeen
With different forces having realized in the last one year or so, how potent and revolutionary news on air can be in the Arab World, it seems we will be seeing the creation of more Arabic news channels. And as crowded as Arabic news broadcasting is, today, a new channel has been on air, now, for over a month: Al Mayadeen TV channel has been on air, around the clock, twenty-four-hours-a-day, with news and documentaries.

Just over two months ago, Sky News in Arabic was launched (I do not know of any one who watches the Arabic Sky News regularly; in fact, no one seems to be watching it at all); and now there is Al Mayadeen. All competing for the more than 200 million people who know Arabic around the world; and there is already talk of more Arabic news channels being launched. For long, there has been only two main and dominant Arabic news channels: Al Arabiya and Al Jazeera. All these news channels, like the older ones, say they are or will be 'free, fair and unbiased' - which I believe is not possible.

Al Mayadeen TV channel, based in Beirut, with their slogan 'Reality as it is' - claim they will be professional, objective, independent and unbiased. But, already many are accusing it of being a front and a tool for certain entities. That aside, for the last few days I decided to watch this new channel most of the time, whenever I wanted to watch the news. Technically, it is very advanced and smooth; and its presenters are some of the best. So far, during my last few days of watching, there was not a single hitch. Compared to the other Arabic news channels, it is refreshing, novel and very absorbing. Of its news, it seems that Al Mayadeen is trying hard to be objective and unbiased. Only time will tell what form this new channel will take and what it really stands for and represents.

Postscript: Almost two-and-a-half years ago, I posted the above. I have been watching Al Mayadeen regularly,. As I have watched it develop, I realize that it's very biased and subjective; always trying hard to be protective and defensive of certain sides/issues and at the same time being aggressive and critical /ofon others --- with no real, proper, objective reasoning for that. ~ 24th April, 2015