Head of BBC Arabic says her channel is "totally different species to Al-Jazeera."

Posted: 12 Feb 2010   Print   Send a link
Liliane Landour, Head of BBC Arabic: "'We have no allegiance to anyone and therefore we can ask whatever we want,' she said. 'We don’t have to take permission from any government. We can look at whatever we want in whatever way we want. I don’t know if people in this country [Lebanon] are as fully aware of this as they should be.' ... 'People are used to BBC Arabic on radio; it has been around for a long time. BBC [Arabic] TV is an 18-month-old baby and some don’t even know we exist. TV is very fresh and very new,' she said. 'It is finding its feet.' ... 'Future TV, Al-Manar, LBC etc, all have some interesting things and things that you can pick and choose. What we offer is total impartiality among the regions and also a very broad freedom of subjects and themes,' she said. ... Landour rejected comparisons between the BBC World Service and Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based media giant that broadcasts in both Arabic and English from across the globe. 'They have huge resources and we can’t match those,' she said. 'Therefore we can’t compete on the same terrain. We shouldn’t; we are a totally different species to Al-Jazeera.' 'Wherever you are in the world people talk about the BBC – people who may be as partial as possible – and what they admire is its impartiality,' she added.'" Patrick Galey, Daily Star (Beirut), 12 February 2010. Impartiality is necessary but not sufficient. Video reports from the places where news is happening is essential. I would think that BBC Arabic, with the assistance of the larger BBC organization, should be a able to compete with Al Jazeera.