Arabian satellite news channel Al Jazeera - which has earned the sobriquet of being the Arab world's CNN - has partnered with Rajat Sharma's Hindi news and current affairs channel, India TV for content sharing.
As per the deal, to start with, Al Jazeera will provide a half-an-hour dubbed in Hindi news bulletin every day for telecast on India TV starting September 3 at 11 pm. India TV, on the other hand, will provide India-related news to the Arabic channel. Apart from these, the main news bulletin of India TV will be also aired on the Arabic channel.
There will, however, be no equity partnership between the partners.
When asked by agencyfaqs! about Al Jazeera's specific area of interest in Indian news, Wadah Khanfar, managing director, Al Jazeera said, "Apart from the the political news, we are also looking forward to cultural and business news."
He added, "India plays a very important role in the international politics and global economy and is of high importance for the Arab world."
The Arabian channel also has an exclusive programme on international cultures and India being a country of many cultures will provide enough content for the channel.
Contrary to what was reported by an online news portal, Al Jazeera does not have any immediate plans to launch a news channel in the country. The Arab channel is, however, looking forward to place its correspondent in India and it has applied for a government approval.
In the past, the Indian government was not very pleased with the Al Jazeera's coverage on the Kashmir crisis.
Khanfar also said that the channel is looking forward to tie-up with other networks.
Sharing some facts about the deal, Rajat Sharma, promoter of India TV, said, "The deal didn't happen overnight...we had initially met during my visit to Qatar before launching India TV."
"Till date, there has been vacuum in news coverage from the Arab world in India and with this, we hope to fill this up," Sharma said.
The Qatar-based channel came into the limelight through its series of "exclusives" with the Al Queda leader Bin Laden. Its other claim to fame is its coverage of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which offered an Arab perspective on the conflicts and broke the monopoly of Western news media.
This is not the first time that Al Jazeera has tied up with an Indian entity. In 2003, Indian Express had associated with the Arab news channel to provide 'breaking news' from US-Iraq war on SMS (short message service).
Interestingly, the controversial Al Jazeera has had faced a lot of opposition from the Western world. One of its web service providers had reportedly withdrawn its services for the channel's websites; even Yahoo was reported to have refused ads from the channel, thanks to its decision of espousing the Arab cause.
© 2004 agencyfaqs!