MBS revives Saudi media image with new TV channel

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is seeking to revive Saudi Arabia’s media image by launching a new TV news channel in the near future called Asharq, in cooperation with the US Bloomberg network, as well as launching a new look for Al Arabiya TV channel.

Asharq TV channel is managed by the Saudi Research and Marketing Group, which also publishes Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper and Sayidaty magazine, and is supported by Mohammad Bin Salman’s brother, Ahmad. The channel was initially decided to be named Bloomberg, then Bloomberg Al-Arab, and later Bloomberg Asharq, before it was finally decided to relinquish the international name and to name the channel Asharq.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has been subjected to a severe media attack, most especially following the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as the media remained in denial for 18 days. Once coverage began to be carried out, it was met with widespread mockery, as some put forward hypotheses such as that Qatar was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Khashoggi.

An internationally acclaimed journalist writing for The Washington Post, he was considered brilliant by his peers. One year ago, the journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and never walked out.

Some Western governments, as well as the CIA, said they believed MBS ordered the killing – an accusation Saudi officials have denied.

The international media has also been busy in recent years with the Saudi-Emirati aggression against Yemen and the massacres therein, and the differences within the ruling family in Saudi Arabia, and these issues will not likely be tackled by the new channel.

Earlier this month Saudi Arabia banned Turkish state news agency Anadolu, along with the website of state broadcaster TRT.

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