US launches TV channel in Arab world

The US has launched an Arabic-language television network, al-Hurra, seeking to rein in the influence of Arab networks while polishing the image of the United States.

    Channel will fail because of US bias towards Israel, says analyst

    Al-Hurra, which means "the free one," said that, above all, it aims to be "a complete and balanced news network". Its broadcast reaches 22 countries.

    "Al-Hurra will present fresh perspectives for viewers in the Middle East that we believe will create more cultural understanding and respect," said Norman Pattiz, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors' Middle East Committee, who spearheaded its development.

    That view has been challenged though with one Arab academic saying the launch of the channel stems from a misunderstanding.

    "The Americans think that we hate them because we don’t receive accurate information about the reality of American politics."

    "This is not true. America’s image is ugly because American policies and actions are ugly. America can’t act the way it is acting and expect Arabs and Muslims to love her," said Farid Abu Dhuhair, Professor of Journalism and Mass communication at the Najah University in Nablus.

    Abu Dhuhair opines al-Hurra would fail to achieve its main goals as long as it reflects America’s “scandalous bias toward Israel.”

    The new network debuts with 14 hours a day of programming and will expand to 24 hours within weeks.

    Al-Hurra is available to viewers in the Middle East on the region's two major satellite systems: Arabsat and Nilesat.
     
    The United States decided to launch the network, based outside Washington, to improve its image in the Middle East and counterbalance the popular Aljazeera and Al-Arabiya. 

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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