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: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.