BBC Arabic TV: A “Unique Experience” Hosam El Sokkari talks to Arab Media and Society

Document Type



Graduate School of Media and Communications


We all know the story: A decade ago, the BBC pulled the plug on its ill-fated Arabic TV joint venture with the Saudis when it turned out they didn’t quite see eye-toeye on news values. The out-of-work staff became the nucleus of Al Jazeera’s original news team. Now the Brits are back, actively fielding resumes for a new Arabic-language channel, this one sans pesky partners. Arab Media & Society co-editor Lawrence Pintak caught up with Hosam El Sokkari, the head of the BBC’s Arabic Service and himself a veteran of both that first BBC joint venture and Al Jazeera, to discuss the BBC’s re-entry into an increasingly crowded media market.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Arab Media & Society