Regional News Channels in the Middle East:
Building Bridges or Walls?

We are seeing an explosion of Arab focused news channels originating from multiple points around the world. 

These channels, while striving to be balanced and honest, inevitably represent the perspectives, values and concerns of their regions and cultures. 

Do these regional channels inadvertently create walls between cultures?

To what extent does the viewer require a news channel to brand itself by representing a particular point of view or sense of identity?

Is this about universal values or particular perspectives? 

Can news reporting from such news channels be seen as an adjunct arm of the foreign policy apparatus or as a way of fostering understanding across borders?

Moderator – Leila Sheikhali - Presenter, Al Jazeera Channel

Panelists

1. James Zogby - founder and president of the Arab American Institute.
2. Henri Pigeat – president of the Centre for the Formation of Journalists.
3. Muhammad Musfir – lecturer in Political Science at Qatar University.
4. Daniel Dodd - acting head of Strategy for Journalism, BBC

Biographies

James Zogby - President, Arab American Institute
James Zogby, PhD, is the founder and president of the Washington, DC-based Arab American Institute, which conducts policy research and engages in political advocacy for the Arab American community. In 2001, Zogby was elected to the Executive Committee of the United States Democratic National Committee (DNC). Zogby is also a senior analyst with the polling firm Zogby International, founded and managed by his brother John, and is a prominent lecturer and scholar on Middle East issues.
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Henri Pigeat - President, Centre for the Formation of Journalists
Henri Pigeat is President of the Centre de Formation des Journalistes in Paris, and President of the Task Force for quality of news and information in the World Association of Newspapers. From 1976 to 1986 he was President and CEO of Agence France-Presse (AFP). He was also President of the International Institute of Communications in London, and member of the Executive Committee of the International Press Institute. Mr Pigeat is Editor and Managing Director of Ilissos, a French monthly publication of political analysis and foreign affairs, and author of many books on politics and media including: Ethics and medias (1997), Freedom of the Press, the French Paradox (2003), Quality of News, a World Panorama (2004).
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Muhammad Musfir - Lecturer in Political Science at Qatar University
Dr Musfir is a lecturer at Qatar University. From 1995-1997 he was chief editor of Al-Rayah daily newspaper. He has also been an associate professor at Yarmouk University in Jordan and Qatar University. Previously, he had a long diplomatic career serving in the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as Acting Council General in Pakistan, Acting Cultural Attaché in London, Chancellor to the UAE Mission to the UN, and Deputy to the permanent representative of the UAE delegation to the UN. He has authored several books including The Arabs, the West and Globalization, and Regional Organizations: Backgrounds of Origins & Principles. He earned his PhD. in Political Science from State University of New York at Binghampton.
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Daniel Dodd - acting head of Strategy for Journalism, BBC
Daniel Dodd is acting Head of Strategy for the BBC’s Journalism Group which includes the News and the Global divisions so covers BBC World, World Service and the international news website as well as all domestic journalism. He came to strategy from running the BBC’s domestic and overseas business coverage as Editor of the Economics and Business Centre. This team of 160 journalists make around 11 hours of programming a day for domestic networks like, N24, Radio 4, Five Live and BBC World and World Service Radio. The Centre also provides all the business journalism on the website and interactive services.  In a 20-year BBC career he has also worked on Breakfast News, and on the main TV news bulletins. In his pre-BBC career he worked for Visnews and as a radio journalist in Hong Kong and Germany.
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