Bahrain to launch new media city
Manama, November 2, 2011
A new Media City is being planned for Bahrain and a new international Bahrain television channel will be launched in the near future, said a top government official.
International Advertising Association (IAA) Bahrain Chapter president Khamis Al Muqla announced this at the IAA meeting held in the InterContinental Regency Bahrain on Tuesday.
The event was hosted by media houses Gulf Daily News and Akhbar Al Khaleej under the patronage of Information Affairs Authority president Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.
Addressing the gathering, Al Muqla said, 'The industry faced challenging times and the latest Pan Arabic research showed that between January and September there was a drop in revenue of 27 per cent from $65.3 million to $47.7 million.'
He said the advertising and marketing communications industry had to play a vital role to regain confidence in the Kingdom's economy and restore the positive image of the country.
'Though we have lost the opportunity to host the 2012 IAA World Advertising Congress, which is now going to happen in Vienna, we need to think how best we can represent Bahrain at this congress,' he remarked.
'We must showcase our Brand Bahrain by seeking a slot at the congress to thank the international community for their support,' he added.
Akhbar Al Khaleej Editor-in-Chief Anwar Abdulrahman told delegates at the event that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) had moved from being a globally respected news organisation to joining the ranks of the yellow press during the unrest in Bahrain.
Speaking during the meeting, Abdulrahman said that the BBC had let down the people of Bahrain with its coverage. 'I have respected the BBC in the past but they seem to have had a mental change,' he said.
'What they said over the unrest turned them into yellow journalism,' he stated.
'I suppose they were in competition with the Sun at that level of coverage and now we have a BBC that we can no longer trust,' Abdulrahman said.
'I hope we as human beings learn and repair our standards because the coverage of the BBC was damaging to Bahrain in the eyes of the world.'
'We have to responsibly make ourselves known to the world that the BBC has not taken this seriously,' he added.
'We are facing a problem that has to be stated with truth and honesty,' Abdulrahman said.
'It is a political issue. If people blame it on faith and if this is faith, God help humanity,' he added.
Bahrain's new international channel, the Bahrain International Channel, will first beam into Western Europe when it starts telecasting in the next few weeks, Shaikh Fawaz said.
The infrastructure for this venture is in place now, he said.
In addition to Western Europe, the spillover will be into Eastern Europe and Northern African countries, he added.
'Initially, the new channel will have the best of the main channels - including the live channels, the news both in Arabic and English and live sports events,' he said.
'So it will be a combination of all the Bahrain channels - Bahrain TV, Bahrain 55 and Bahrain Sports,' he added.
'Once the new channel has established in the first geography of its existence, then the expansion will be into Northern America and east of Asia,' said Shaikh Fawaz.
On the new media infrastructure being created, Shaikh Fawaz said that the Bahrain Media City is an interesting project
'We are working closely with the private sector to establish this project. The start will be with four buildings and negotiations are already on with a new television station to establish their presence in Bahrain,' he said and added that their decision was expected in a few weeks.
'We are aggressively marketing Bahrain so that the new station will come to Bahrain Media City,' noted Shaikh Fawaz.
'We are also talking to the Economic Development Board to establish the rules and regulations that will govern television channels and media companies setting up here. Various channels have shown interest,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service
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