Al Arab news channel prepares for launch
Manama, August 2, 2014
A new Arabic news channel being set up in Bahrain has started a recruitment drive in preparation for its expected launch later this year, a report said.
Al Arab News Channel is privately owned by billionaire Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal and will operate independent from his Rotana Group and Kingdom Holding Company.
The channel is being set up in Bahrain due to licensing restrictions in Saudi Arabia, which prevent independent news stations operating from within its borders, said the Gulf Daily News report.
It is headquartered in the Bahrain World Trade Centre and hopes to provide competition to existing channels such as Qatar's Al Jazeera, the UAE's Al Arabiya, Russia's Arabic station RT, Sky New Arabia, France 24 and BBC Arabic.
While no date has yet been confirmed for the channel's launch, Al Arab has already announced the recruitment of two news anchors after headhunting Al Jazeera's Laila Al Shaikhli and BBC Arabic's Tarek Alaas.
Other staff already on board include Weam Abdulaziz Al Dakheel, Abdulla Al Muslimani, Noor Al Shaikh, and Abdulla Al Sabaie.
"One of our goals for the channel is to give the outstanding talent of the region a platform to show off their skills and create a lasting legacy in the region; a channel that is not only changing the way news is made but helping build a new generation of broadcasting talent," said Al Arab TV editor-in-chief Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist known for his interviews with Osama bin Laden.
"We are delighted to be able to welcome all four of these talented journalists to our team."
The new channel is planning to employ a team of almost 300 people and has already begun an intensive, one-month training schedule for editorial staff in preparation for launch.
"To be part of a new channel is a great opportunity; to be part of a new channel with a clear vision and professional standards of Al Arab is an opportunity too good to miss," said Shaikhli.
"I hope I can bring a style to the channel, which touches the audience and wins us a loyal group of followers."
News staff, presenters, producers, journalists and reporters from all around the world will undergo training on the channel's mission to give viewers a fresh approach to broadcast news in the region.
The training is being provided by Academie France International and Bloomberg.
Al Arab's stated goal is to provide a style of news for the new generation, with global coverage set in the context of the region's history and politics, the report said.
The channel has also struck a deal with Bloomberg to provide the latest financial news and information. - TradeArabia News Service