China launches Arabic TV channel

Beijing moves to address "distored" view of the country across the Middle East.

    The Middle East is served by a large number of
    Arabic TV channels [GALLO/GETTY] 

    "Our principle is to be real, to be objective, to be accurate and transparent. CCTV will present the world with the real China," he said at the launch.

    The channel will mainly broadcast news, but Zhang promised it would also feature entertainment and educational programmes.

    'Good journalism'

    Ying Chan, the director of Hong Kong University's journalism and media studies centre, told Al Jazeera that China saw the channel as a way to counter "unfair" portrayls of China in the international media.

    "There's no question that the Middle East is a very strategic area and China wants its voice heard there," she said.

    "They want to announce their policies more to the world, and they also felt that the international media, led by the Western media, has not been fair to China."

    China exerts a great deal of control over its media and often censors the reporting of sensitive topics.

    "It [CCTV] will face challenges in how much it will allow its own reporters to report news as it is, as it happened," Ying said.

    "I think CCTV, in order to gain influence, has to deliver good journalism."

    Investment plans

    CCTV has also said it plans to open more foreign bureaus.

    The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper reported that Beijing was prepared to put 45 billion yuan ($6.6bn) into the development of its media, an amount which could not be confirmed by Chinese sources.

    China's Arabic language channel joins other foreign government media networks broadcasting in Arabic.

    The UK's BBC launched its Arabic channel last year and the US set up al-Hurra, an Arabic-language channel based in Virginia, in 2004.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.