Al Mayadeen

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Al Mayadeen
Al Mayadeen logo.png
CountryLebanon
Broadcast areaWorldwide[1][2]
NetworkAl Mayadeen Satellite Media Network
HeadquartersBeirut
Programming
Language(s)Arabic
History
Launched11 June 2012; 10 years ago (2012-06-11)
Links
WebsiteAl Mayadeen TV
Availability
Streaming media
Al Mayadeen LiveLiveStation link

Al Mayadeen (Arabic: الميادين; The Plazas) is a pan-Arabist satellite television news channel launched on 11 June 2012 in Beirut, Lebanon.[3] Its programming is predominantly news. It has news reporters in most Arab countries. In the pan-Arab TV news market, it competes against Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, and also against Sky News Arabia and BBC Arabic Television.[4][5] At its founding in 2012, many of Al Mayadeen's senior staff were former correspondents and editors of Al Jazeera. Al Mayadeen is viewed as pro-Hezbollah and pro-Syrian government.[3][6][7][8][9][10]

The channel is part of Al Mayadeen satellite media network, including a production company, a radio station, a website, an advertising company and other media-related projects.[11] Besides the headquarters in Beirut,[12] Al Mayadeen has a news network and three regional offices, one in Tunisia, another in Cairo with three reporters and a big studio, and a third in Tehran.[13]

Staff[edit]

Ghassan bin Jiddo is the head of the board of directors and program director of the channel.[13] He is the former head of Al Jazeera's Iran and Beirut offices and a former talk show host in the channel.[11][14] He resigned from the Qatar-based Al Jazeera in 2011, criticizing its reporting of the Syrian civil war.[3] Jiddo seemingly accused Al Jazeera of deviating from "professional broadcasting standards", emphasizing that Al Mayadeen would remain objective and unbiased.[4] Nayef Krayem, the owner of the Lebanon-based Al Ittihad TV and former director of the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar,[15] was designated as the general manager of the channel,[6] but he resigned one month before its launch.

The staff of the channel include Lebanese journalists such as Sami Kulaib,[16] Ali Hashem, the former Al Jazeera war correspondent, who resigned from the Qatari channel for stated that it refused to broadcast footage of militants on the Lebanese Syrian borders in the early days of the Syrian uprising,[11] Zahi Wehbe,[17] Lina Zahreddine, Lana Mudawwar, Muhammad Alloush, Ahmad Abu Ali and Dina Zarkat. Additionally, two Syrian journalists, Ramia Ibrahim and Futoun Abbasi, and two Palestinian journalists Kamal Khalaf and Ahmad Sobh as well as Yemeni Mona Safwan are also among its staff.[13] Like Jiddo, most of the channel's staff are the former Al Jazeera correspondents and editors.[7]

George Galloway, a British MP, was a presenter for the channel.[18][19] He was paid £3,000 per 90-minute programme by the channel (£18,000 for the first four months of 2014, £96,000 between April 2013 and September 2014), for hosting two programmes a month from Beirut.[20] He continued to present for the station in 2016[21] and 2017.[22]

The channel has a network of reporters in Palestine (specifically, in Gaza and Ramallah) and also, in Jerusalem.[13] Their task is reported to provide the channel with a daily news section in the news broadcast entitled "A Window into Palestine".[13] In addition, there are reporters of the channel in Amman, Tripoli, Rabat, Khartoum, Mauritania and Comoros.[13] The correspondent of the channel in Damascus was withdrawn in April 2014.[23]

Omar Abdel Qader, a Syrian cameraman working for Al Mayadeen, was killed by a sniper during clashes in Deir Ezzor on 8 March 2014.[24]

Programming[edit]

Al Mayadeen is on air for 24 hours daily.[25] As of September 2013, the channel had ten daily news reports and nearly 17 distinct programs.[25] One of its programs is A Free Word, a show hosted by George Galloway.[26] The channel had formerly aired a program, namely Hadeeth Dimashq (meaning "Damascus dialogue" in English), focusing on the Syrian civil war, until April 2014, when it was discontinued.[23]

In 2022, it broadcast a three-hour interview with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to mark the 40th anniversary of the group.[27]

Political alignment[edit]

The name of the channel, Al Mayadeen, means "the squares" in English, indicating its objective "to provide coverage for the Arab popular actions on the squares of change in the context of the Arab spring revolutions".[28] The channel argues that it provides journalism, which is "committed to nationalist, pan-Arab and humanitarian issues within the template of professional journalistic objectivity".[29] In addition, it presents itself as a "free and independent media project" with 500 staff and reporters in Arab and Western capitals.[13] Its slogan is "Reality as it is" and its editorial policy emphasizes that Palestine and resistance movements wherever they are found are its point of reference.[13] Following its first year of broadcast the channel began to be described as the "anti-Al Jazeera".[30][31][32]

France 24 and Mohammed Al Jazairy of Asharq Alawsat state that Al Mayadeen represents the latest expansion of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah in the field of media.[6][7] It is further said by Zeina Karam of the Associated Press that the channel's close ally in Lebanon is the Shiite group Hezbollah.[8] Joe Khalil, the author of a book about television in the Arab world, told The Daily Telegraph newspaper that the station is undoubtedly supportive of the Assad regime.[9] According to the UK's Jewish Chronicle, its director, Ghassan bin Jiddo, has spoken of his “friendship” with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.[27]

Al Mayadeen refers to the rebels in Syria as "terrorists", and to the actions of the Syrian government against the rebels as "cleansing" when reporting the Syrian civil war.[10]

On 6 November 2015, the Saudi-controlled Arabsat satellite TV organization suspended and banned Al Mayadeen from broadcasting on its satellite system.[33] The motive was the editorial stances of Al Mayadeen news programs, including the spirit of Al Mayadeen's coverage of the Saudi military intervention in the ongoing civil war in Yemen.[33]

The network has been accused of antisemitism. According to the Jewish Chronicle, among articles on its Arabic website are ones entitled “The Holocaust — that great deception”, “Why do the Jews rejoice at the burning of Notre Dame in Paris?”, “Jews and Freemasons in the Arabs’ revolutions”, and “The Jews of ‘Israel’ — this is why their end is certain”.[27][34] According to Media Matters for America in 2021, Al Mayadeen used antisemitic conspiracy theories about George Soros in its coverage of the Pandora Papers "to sow doubt about whistleblowers and leaks".[35]

The network has stated that the Palestinian cause is the channel's centerpiece.[36] Al Mayadeen consistently refers to Israel as "Israel" (in double quotes) as it editorially does not accept the existence of Israel.[citation needed]

During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Al Mayadeen supported Russia.[37][38] It has referred to the Government of Ukraine as a "Nazi regime" and promoted the discredited Ukraine bioweapons conspiracy theory.[39] British politician Jeremy Corbyn was criticised for appearing appearing on the network during the war because of its perceived closeness to Iran and Hezbollah; his comments were interpreted as supportive of Russia and excessively critical of the west.[40][37][41][34]

Ownership[edit]

The channel says that its owners are anonymous Arab businessmen.[13] There is speculation about the funding of the channel. Many see the channel as a propaganda platform for Iran and Hezbollah and is funded by them.[3] Omar Ibhais, a freelance Lebanese TV producer, stated that the channel is a joint venture between the Iranians and Rami Makhlouf, cousin of Syrian President Bashar Assad.[30] According to the Telegraph, its head of news is married to a former adviser to Assad.[9] However, Ghassan bin Jiddo, director of the channel, denied this and stated that the channel is funded by Arab businessmen whose identity he would not disclose.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Discover Al Mayadeen TV and all of its programmes on Sat.tv". Sat.tv.
  2. ^ "Online voters select best photo in Andrei Stenin tilt". pna.gov.ph.
  3. ^ a b c d e Zeina Karam (11 June 2012). "New pan-Arab satellite channel goes on air". Associated Press. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  4. ^ a b Shane Farrell (6 June 2012). "Al Mayadeen: Political pandering or objective media?". Now Lebanon. Archived from the original on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  5. ^ "New pan-Arab TV satellite channel goes on air". The Denver Post. 11 June 2012. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Mohammed Al Jazairy (14 June 2012). "Al Mayadeen: The last attempt to revive pro-Assad media". Asharq Alawsat. Archived from the original on 31 December 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  7. ^ a b c "War of the remote controls: new Arab TV channel launches to challenge Al-Jazeera". France 24. 11 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  8. ^ a b "New pan-Arab TV satellite channel goes on air". US News. 11 June 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  9. ^ a b c Tim Walker. (1 September 2013) What George Galloway neglected to mention in Syria debate, The Daily Telegraph
  10. ^ a b "Executive Summary" (PDF). Syria Cyber Watch. 25 November 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  11. ^ a b c "Al Mayadeen Satellite Channel to be launched". ArabAD. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  12. ^ "The curious CV of a former BBC Arabic journalist". BBC Watch. 3 May 2013. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Al Mayadeen TV: New Kid on the Block". Al Akhbar. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  14. ^ "The world's most influential Arabs". Arabian Business. 2011. Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  15. ^ Thomas Rid; Marc Hecker (2009). War 2.0: Irregular Warfare in the Information Age: Irregular Warfare in the Information Age. Westport, CT; London: Praeger. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-313-36471-6.
  16. ^ "Ex-Al Jazeera anchor to be ministry spokesperson". Gulf News. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  17. ^ Zeina al Abdelhady (2 June 2012). "Lebanese poet Zahi Wehbe shares his passion for poetry". Al Shorfa. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  18. ^ Patrick Kingsley. (28 August 2012). "The TV stations where George Galloway and Julian Assange are stars", The Guardian, Retrieved 3 November 2013
  19. ^ Tim Walker. (1 September 2013). "What George Galloway neglected to mention in Syria debate", The Telegraph, Retrieved 3 November 2013
  20. ^ "Galloway Doubles Pay Packet With Appearances On Russia, Arab Channels". HuffPost UK. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  21. ^ Kaleem Aftab (27 July 2016). "George Galloway on his documentary film The Killing$ of Tony Blair: 'It's a considered narrative, not an angry tirade'". The Independent. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  22. ^ Nico Hines (14 April 2017). "British MP George Galloway Loves to Hate the USA". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  23. ^ a b Nazeer Rida (14 April 2014). "Al Mayadeen channel withdraws Damascus correspondent". Asharq Alawsat. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  24. ^ Syrian journalist killed covering fighting: Al-Mayadeen TV The Daily Star, 9 March 2014
  25. ^ a b "Al Mayadeen TV: An Alternative against the Mass Media Power". Radio Rebelde. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  26. ^ "British MP yells, "You make me sick!" at anti-Assad audience member on Islamist linked TV". The Commentator. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  27. ^ a b c "Jeremy Corbyn 'must be expelled from Labour' for appearing on extremist TV channel say campaigners". The Jewish Chronicle. 4 August 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022. Antisemitism campaigners have called on Labour to expel Jeremy Corbyn after he appeared on a TV channel that has given a platform to Hezbollah and published Holocaust denial material.
  28. ^ Husam Itani (22 June 2012). ""Mayadeen," the End". Al Hayat. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  29. ^ Malik Al Abdeh (October 2012). "The Media War in Syria" (PDF). Al Majalla. 1576: 18–22. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 July 2013.
  30. ^ a b "'Anti-Al Jazeera' channel Al Mayadeen goes on air". France 24. 12 June 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  31. ^ "Al-Mayadeen: la chaîne anti Al-Jazeera dans le monde arabe". Le Figaro (in French). 27 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  32. ^ Collier, Kevin (25 September 2013). "Syrian Electronic Army to make first TV appearance Thursday". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  33. ^ a b Jessica Watkins (2019). "Satellite Sectarianisation or Plain Old Partisanship? Inciting Violence in the Arab Mainstream Media" (Report). London: LSE Middle East Centre. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  34. ^ a b Bandler, Aaron (5 August 2022). "Corbyn Appears on Pro-Hezbollah Channel, Decries "Powerful Forces" Against Him". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 23 September 2022. Former Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn appeared on Al Mayadeen on July 30––a network that is reportedly supportive of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iranian regime––where he decried the “powerful forces” that were against him during his reign as Labour Party leader.
  35. ^ "Fringe right-wing media and conspiracy theorists spread antisemitic disinformation about the Pandora Papers". Media Matters for America. 2 November 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  36. ^ Nicholas Noe; Walid Raad (28 September 2012). "Is a New Boss a New Line for Al Jazeera?". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  37. ^ a b "Corbyn criticised for appearing on Al-Mayadeen TV". The New Arab. 2 August 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022. Corbyn appeared on the Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen channel, criticising the West for their ongoing military support for Ukraine, which he said was prolonging the conflict... Media outlets like Al-Mayadeen have supported Moscow and President Vladimir Putin in the war.
  38. ^ "Russia defeat in Ukraine may influence Iran proxies war on Israel". The Jerusalem Post. 15 September 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022. Al-Mayadeen, a media channel considered pro-Iran and close to Hezbollah, reported last week on the Russian setbacks in eastern Ukraine. The article said Russian sources had discussed these setbacks with the Al-Mayadeen reporters.
  39. ^ Chris York (3 August 2022). "What Ukrainians Think About Jeremy Corbyn's Ukraine Interview". Byline Times. Archived from the original on 3 August 2022. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  40. ^ Pooran, Neil (10 August 2022). "Jeremy Corbyn says he stands by comments on Ukraine weapons supply". The Independent. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  41. ^ "Corbyn's Fading Hopes Of Regaining Labour Whip Dampened By Controversial TV Interview". HuffPost UK. 2 August 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022. The Lebanese channel is seen as sympathetic to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, a key ally of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. In the interview, Corbyn said arming Ukraine to help it repel Russia’s invasion was not the way to bring about peace.

External links[edit]