BBC plan to launch an Arabic service new satellite TV station in the Middle East

I listened to a BBC show Over to You

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which was principally about the plan to launch an Arabic service new satellite TV station in the Middle East and the broadcast of WHYS. WHYS has already made its video compiled by Paul Coletti called World Have Your Say Behind the Scenes .

As for the show outside the office, it was an occasion to break the routine. The shows from Chinatown and Green Street gave them a flavour, especially when the pictures were shown on flickr later. When someone is speaking on a bad line you stop them. But when the show was from Heathrow airport landing and flying planes must have made listening difficult on short waves. But you let the planes keep moving. You should have grounded them till the end of the show, the way you cut lines when they are bad!

The plan to launch an Arabic service new satellite TV station in the Middle East is a good step by the BBC to address an audience whose region is extensively daily in the news. Although the launch seems a bit late, but it’s better late than never. The region is now swarming with different news “homemade” Arabic channels, but each is with a political agenda. Although they appear to be neutral or reflecting both sides, they remain tied to the political directions of the countries that sponsor them. Al Jazeera is known for broadcasting programmes like “Opposite Directions” in which debates get hot to the point of uncivilised shouting and interruption, but it never dared broadcast a programme about Qatar showing the problems facing the country. Al Arabiya can never broadcast programmes showing the social or political problems in Saudi Arabia. Such channels are free to broadcast programmes critical of other countries, except the countries that sponsor them.

The BBC will be an occasion for those seeking facts without being bombarded with set political views that reflect only the official lines to watch the news and to make their mind about it. Those who visit BBC Arabic website, listen to Arabic service will quickly fit in BBC Arabic television service. Those used to biased news will find the BBC biased because it isn’t leaning to the side they are used to adhering to.

BBC will surely represent a serious rival to the established Arabic news channels if it starts to broadcast 24/7 and if the audience learns that the new approach to the news isn’t to be dictated how to view events, but to have views on them. BBC English service has succeeded in making its users, website visitors, viewers and listeners become interactive. The BBC leaves them to comment and as it has no political agenda amounting to propaganda, contrary to the other Arabic channels who invite “experts” to tell the viewers what is right and wrong.

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