Last Updated: Mon Nov 01, 2010 20:13 pm (KSA) 17:13 pm (GMT)

Al Arabiya to start sixth year with a new look

As Al Arabiya News Channel marks its fifth anniversary, it will look back at the major news events that rocked the world and the people who paid the ultimate price in covering them.

Marking its inception on March 3, 2003, Al Arabiya TV will air a special week-long retrospective of its coverage of the major news events of the past five years.

"The past five years witnessed events that shook the entire world, and Al Arabiya was up to providing full and unbiased coverage," said Media Director Nasser al-Sarami, adding that the channel strived to live up to its mottos of "Know More" and "Closer to the Truth."

Al Arabiya will also unveil a re-designed news studio that features the very latest in news technology, as part of special celebrations to mark its achievements leading up to the milestone anniversary.

But the channel's success was not without a heavy price.

Al Arabiya lost the biggest number of correspondents and cameramen of any Arab media channel -- all dedicated and selfless journalists who paid the ultimate price while trying to deliver important stories to viewers.

Iraq's Atwar Bahjat was abducted and murdered in 2006 when she was reporting from Samarra. She was posthumously awarded the International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Jawad Kazem, also reporting from Iraq, was attacked by gunmen in 2005, leaving him paralyzed. After a long and difficult road to recovery, he now presents the news from his wheel chair.

In total, at least 208 journalists and media assistants have been killed in Iraq since the start of the U.S. invasion in March 2003, according to the Paris-based organization Reporters without Borders.

In a statement to, Reporters without Borders Secretary General Robert Minard praised the channel, saying: "We express our pride and joy in the success of Al Arabiya, which re-shaped the Arab media scene and established itself as one of the most credible news sources in the region."

"While we commend the efforts of the management and journalists who contributed to the success of this project, we hope it will continue to be a leader in the development of the media in the Arab world," Minard wrote.

He concluded by thanking Al Arabiya for its "tremendous" efforts in supporting the freedom of the press in the Middle East and the Arab and Islamic worlds.

Audiences in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, South East Asia, North Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Australia tune in to Al Arabiya to watch around-the-clock coverage of breaking news and current affairs programs, delivered by a team of distinguished presenters and expert correspondents.

(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).

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