By Courtney Trenwith
Programming stops, reports claim stoppage is due to feature on Bahraini opposition
Saudi businessman Prince Alwaleed’s new Alarab TV channel has stopped programming only one day after launching, the station has confirmed on its official Twitter account.
Alarab TV was set-up in Bahrain because Saudi Arabia does not allow independent media to operate in the kingdom.
The station was running only self-promotional material from Monday morning, according to comments posted on Twitter.
The station's official twitter account issued a statement on Monday, translated from Arabic, which said: "Stop broadcasting technical and administrative reasons, and we will come back soon, God willing."
Arabic daily Akhbar Alkhaleej claimed programming was suspended due to the fact the station aired footage of a member of the Bahraini opposition, Khalil al-Marzooq, which was deemed offensive to the government.
Arabian Business could not independently confirm this at the time of publication.
Freedom of opinion?
Freedom of press?
Nous sommes Charlie!?
Oh dear. Once again what should be a much needed positive story has turned into an embarrassment. A great chance to show the world that they can accept proper debate in an international context. So you can allow critical coverage on TV with Aljazeera and BBC but not host a news channel that aims to produce similar content.
No wonder the main news agencies don't keep proper bureaus in Bahrain and just use a few casual stringers.
Note. Khalil Al Marzouq had been cleared by a court and had no charges hanging over him. Why not interview him? Now when Bahrain and media relations are brought up this incident will be remembered. Its content will also be questioned. I hope Prince Alwaleed sticks to his guns over content and pulls out in spite of the financial cost if he doesn't get his way. The alternative is a network with little integrity.
It is no wonder that there are so many armed conflicts in the Middle East when people are not even allowed to express their opinions. Perhaps if people were allowed to speak openly and discuss these matters without fear of retribution then there would be less wars and conflicts in the region.
They should have opened in Beirut instead of Manamah...