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24-hour news channels across the globe

by on December 2, 2013

The past few years saw an emergence of international 24-hour news channels. Of course, the first of its kind is Americas CNN, which began national and developed an international news agency dedicated only to global affairs.cnn

Many years later, Aljazeera-bank rolled by the Qatari government, which started out as an Arabic centric news channel established an English language channel for the same purpose in 2006. Since then, many countries around the world followed suit. While Aljazeera English is currently the most viewed- being influential is debatable- Russia’s RT (Russia Today) began its own English

channel too broadcasting a narrative that counters that of conventional, mainstream news. Though its viewership doesn’t match that of CNN or Aljazeera, RT in recent years, has received significant investment to raise its standards as a competitor against Aljazeera and CNN for global viewership.




Investment includes, programmes that home in on certain issues around the world, for e.g. RT’s cross talk with Peter Lavelle, or Aljazeera’s inside story. Furthermore, these news agencies broadcast many documentaries mainly focusing on issues that relate to society and of course, politics. Other countries too, have followed suit; Frances France24, Iran’s Press TV and Chinas CCTV though they do not hold the same pedigree as RT or Aljazeera. RT has also diversified in regions opening a Spanish and Arabic language news channel, while Aljazeera began opening in Turkey, the Balkans, a channel specifically for American affairs – Aljazeera America- and soon to open a German Aljazeera in 2014.


BBC world news is probably the most viewed international 24-hour news channel in the world. It was established in 1991 as BBC world service television outside of Europe. Now, BBC world news broadcasts to more than 300 hundred million households across 200 nations; as oppose to Aljazeera’s 220 million households across 100 nations. Furthermore, BBC world news bulletins have an average of 74 million viewers a week. Aside from the English language it also provides news broadcasts in Arabic and Persian.

media_sky_news_arabiaBritain is also home to Sky news, which is its most viewed private news broadcast channel focusing on British as well as international affairs. BSKYB, owners of Sky news, also run news channels in Australia, New Zealand and most recently and intriguingly, Sky news Arabia launched in 2012 focusing on International and pan-Arab affairs.

Capture-d’écran-2013-04-09-à-13.00.57What is most interesting about the launching and development of news channels however, is the launch of Israel’s first 24-hour international news channel, I24news. Launched in 2013, and is claimed to be privately owned, it is speculated to be the counterweight to the pro-Arab news influence that is Aljazeera. Though it hasn’t gained the steam Aljazeera English did in 2006, it proves it self to be an informative and neutral news channel opening discourses of Middle East affairs. Furthermore, the real interesting side to I24news is that it broadcasts in English, Arabic and French but not the native Hebrew language.  It would Suggest that its target audience is those outside of Israel or aren’t as informed who receive news coming out of numerous channels that doesn’t represent their ideals.



The coming years will definitely see more competition between news channels, especially those that represent interests that conflict each other, even though many claim to be neutral and balanced with their news. Nonetheless, this is a great way for sates, regardless if these channles are publicly or privately owned, too keep viewers informed of their actions, opening a new door to global communications.



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One Comment
  1. This post presents a solid overview of the main international TV news broadcasters and make some interesting observations, especially about Israel. However, it is predominantly descriptive and doesn’t make a discernible point. What is it that you want to say about this development? How does it differ from radio broadcasting (which has been around for much longer)? Finally, what do the cases you have discussed say about the main themes of the module and the central texts? When you come to revise this entry for inclusion in your portfolio, it would be good if you could link these issues to the literature, as well as ironing out spelling and grammatical errors.

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