A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

present at the Creation: the Arabic channels on Election Day night

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on November 6, 2008

Here are three snapshots I took around 7:30 on Tuesday evening: one from Al Jazeera, one from LBC, and one from Al Arabiya (Future, as I noted yesterday, was covering the far more important narrative of a baladi musalsal).

Here is Al Jazeera:

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As you can see from the big “American Elections 2008” news scroll, Jazeera (and all the Arabic channels) took its returns information from US news outlets. MSNBC is fairly straightforward, but it did take me a while to figure out what “Fouks Nouz” was. The channels did a great job with man (and woman) on the street interviews and live coverage from the polling centers – but when it came to official returns, they followed the US media.

Here is LBC, which broadcast for most of the evening using this split screen:

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LBC’s graphics were striking – I like the “You and The Event” text/graphic at the lower right, with “You” in red and “The Event” in white. But the black for me was a bit harsh for a night filled with so much hope – and the live broadcast from LBC’s studio (shown in the upper left quadrant) was fuzzy and of much lower quality than the static Obama/McCain image below or the live broadcast from American poll stations at the right.

And finally, Al Arabiya:

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As you can see here, Al Arabiya was engaged in interviewing someone with an interest in the US election – but the channel didn’t start covering the election live until a bit later.

Having said how much I puzzled over the transliteration of US media companies/networks, I should note here that I also had to sound out “Kntaki” and “Feermount”. But transliteration was a very minor issue – I loved how much attention these channels gave to the election, and particularly to the footage of people voting and expressing their views and candidate preferences openly.

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