x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Jordanian TV is losing at home

The country's national channel is still best for local news, but Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya have dramatically affected its viewing rate

"Jordan's national television channel is still the most reliable source of information concerning local news; the evening news bulletin still attracts Jordanians who are eager to learn about the latest developments taking place in their country," said Arib al Rantawi in an opinion for the Jordanian newspaper Addustour. Yet the tough competition of the two major Arab news channels - Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya - has dramatically  affected its viewing rate."

Jordan National TV is increasingly seen less reliable regarding Arab news. According to statistics, during 2009, only 13 per cent of viewers considered it as a  trustworthy source, while that number stood at 33 per cent in 2004 and 2003. Concerning international news, many more viewers suspect the credibility of their national TV.  Al Jazeera came in line to fill the gap and succeeded in winning the trust of 35 per cent of Jordanian viewers, who look at it as the most credible source of local news, and that figure rises higher with Arab and foreign news. To a lesser degree, Al Arabiya, although it has  failed in local news, has reached position ahead of the national television in Arab and international news. In sum, Jordanian TV is gradually losing its grip of public opinion, which implies the government is losing one of its strategic tools of control with no effort to upgrade its content.

"Suddenly, Yemen has become the eye of the storm and to the West it is more important than Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan altogether," said Mazen Hammad in a comment article in the Qatari newspaper Al Watan

After the failed attempt to down the American jet over Detroit, the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, in a strongly worded statement, said that instability in Yemen was a clear threat to both the region and the world. She called on the government to quickly take effective action to restore security or it would lost the support of the US and its allies.  While the US assesses the possibility to intervene, Yemen is caught in a dilemma: the government is not enthusiastic to engage in a partnership with Washington in fear of dire political consequences, but at the same time it is less able to control al Qa'eda.

To appease fears, the head of Yemeni national security, Ali al Anissi, affirmed that the al Qa'eda threat was exaggerated. The government is now in a very delicate situation where it should carefully juggle its relations with the Americans and the tribal forces which reject western interference in the country's affairs. Despite Yemen's close partnership with the US, senior Yemeni officials have criticised the US approach to terrorism, which is exclusively centred on security without addressing other pressing social and economic issues.

The Burj Khalifa is not only an achievement for Emaar, but it is an achievement and a source of pride for the whole UAE, wrote Maysa Rashed Ghadeer in an opinion article for the UAE newspaper Al Bayan. The completion of this edifice came to confirm the strength of the national economy and the excellence of those who planned it and brought it into being. And after being named Burj Khalifa, it has acquired more symbolism that demonstrates the coherence of the seven emirates and highlights the special position that Sheikh Khalifa enjoys among all. 

"Now that the Burj Khalifa has been inaugurated, the UAE is entering a new phase of challenges. High achievement transcends the mere fact of reaching the top and requires consolidating success. This means that the masterpiece that the UAE presented to the world should be followed by more efforts to maintain the country's position. We need to develop the expertise we have accumulated. "The development experience of the UAE has many advantages, yet it has resulted in many negative aspects. The open migration policy adopted has led to an imbalance in the demographic composition of the UAE and the fast-growing and strong economy has produced an urban boom but at the same time financial and administrative irregularities. Well-informed policies need to be taken in line with new developments worldwide."

"After the Saudi Arabia successfully helped in settling the Syrian-Lebanese issue, it now has more time to delve into other pending Arab issues," said the Saudi newspaper Al Watan in its editorial. Saudi Arabia is moving its diplomacy to help the Palestinians achieve national reconciliation, which is sponsored by Egypt. For this, close coordination is going on between Riyadh and Cairo, which consecutively received Palestinian officials from the major factions and presented them with their advice and vision.

Because Hamas is the only party which is reluctant to sign the agreement, calling for introducing more amendments and additional terms, and since Cairo is the axis of this project, the Saudi foreign minister headed to Egypt to carry on further contacts before going to Damascus.  Riyadh also received King Abdullah of Jordan as part of its efforts to push the Palestinians to get together and come up with a formula on how finally to reconcile.

* Digest compiled by Mostapha Elmouloudi @Email:melmouloudi@thenational.ae