“High interest in content clearly equals demand,” said Hosam Sokkari, Head of BBCArabic.com. “The response to the first phase of our partnership programme is underlining the importance of content to end users. In BBCArabic.com we are trying to give our users in the global Arabic-speaking population the most accurate, up-to-the-minute news content they are seeking on the web.”
Websites in the Middle East are increasingly aware that up-to-date, regionally relevant content is a key issue in the overall offering of a site. The cost of procuring or generating such content can be a very expensive exercise involving numerous editors and journalists, working round the clock.
Commenting on this, Annabel Blair, Special Projects Manager, BBC World Service UK, explained: “The difference is that we do not have to start from scratch. BBC is a huge information gathering machine, we are able to verify our stories and deliver relevant content to the Middle East at little extra cost to our partners. We can help our partners enhance their site content 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
BBC World Service, the worldwide news provider offering customised news to the Arabic-speaking internet community, is currently capitalising on its B2B offering. This new programme has provided regional news partners with a tailored Arabic news service, from the world’s biggest broadcast newsgathering organisation. It has allowed BBCArabic.com and its online partners to build closer relations with their target audience.
Sokkari added: “Since its introduction to the Arab community as a 24/7 news site in November 1999, BBCArabic.com’s span of operations has witnessed a tremendous expansion. Today, our service offers full multimedia features, with live and on-demand audio streaming from BBC Arabic radio, as well as video and webcast capability. As BBCArabic.com adapts to the needs of the Arabic online market, our partners can benefit from content offered by the Arab world’s award winning 24/7 online news and information provider.”
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