LONDON: The latest addition to the Arabic-language broadcast media landscape is ready to go live across the Middle East.
Asharq News, a 24/7 multiplatform channel, is a collaboration between the US heavyweight Bloomberg News for business news and the Saudi Research and Marketing Group, publishers of Arab News and the world’s biggest Arabic news outlet, Asharq Al-Awsat.
Officially launching on November 11, audiences in the region will be able to experience global economic coverage on the Asharq News TV channel and its digital platforms with an analysis of developments as they unfold.
Speaking on the launch, Jumana Al-Rashed, CEO of Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), said: “Today’s launch of Asharq News marks a new and exciting phase for the Arab media landscape. We are witnessing an unprecedented pace of change worldwide and keeping up to date with this change means recognising the power of information and forging partnerships to harness that power.”
Al-Rashed added: “SRMG and Bloomberg bring together the best of both worlds: the in-depth market knowledge of SRMG and Bloomberg’s rigorous, data-driven reporting. We are confident that through this collaboration, Asharq News will set new standards for business news delivery to Arabic-speaking viewers.”
Highlighting the youth focus of Asharq News, Al-Rashed said: “We believe it is essential for young people to find trustworthy and insightful content to enable them to pursue their aspirations and contribute to shaping the future of the Arab world. To cater to the young generation, we aim to rely heavily on our digital platforms and social media, and we are confident that our content will respond to this challenge.”
With Bloomberg on board there will be an inevitable emphasis on business and finance, but channel chiefs are also promising general news, analysis and lifestyle content.
Asharq general manager Nabeel Alkhatib has also pledged that Bloomberg content will not be altered or edited for regional sensitivities.
“Whatever we think is suitable for the region, we take it as is,” he said. “If we see an article of potential interest to our viewers or readers, we translate it as it stands. If it’s not suitable or appropriate for whatever reason, we don’t take it. But we either take in full, or we don’t take it at all.”
Among the new channel’s regional firsts will be a weekly health segment hosted by Egyptian doctor and satirist Bassem Youssef.
“To have this opportunity, to be on this kind of a platform in order to show people a different path to wellness, is amazing,” he told Arab News.
Youssef also revealed that a new job is not the only change in his life — he now eats only plant-based foods after a close friend recovered from life-threatening multiple sclerosis by adopting a similar diet. “I immediately felt a difference in my life, in my health, my stamina, my energy,” he said.