Doha Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel Television in Arabic, an independent television station financed by the Qatari Government, has been observed on 6 and 7 November to almost completely ignore the visit made by Saudi King Abdallah to the Vatican on 6 November in its newscasts and news programmes and talk shows.
Apart from a very brief video report carried at 2024 gmt on 6 November and a repeat of the same video report at 0519 gmt on 7 November, the pan-Arab channel has not been observed to highlight, conduct any interviews, or devote any of its talk shows to the visit.
The video report carried by Al-Jazeera at 2024 gmt on 6 November runs as follows: "Pope Benedict XVI received the Saudi monarch, King Abdallah Bin-Abd-al-Aziz, who arrived at the Vatican this afternoon. The meeting lasted around half an hour. It is to be noted that the Saudi monarch is currently visiting Italy as part of a European tour." The report shows the Saudi king shaking hands with the Pope! .
In contrast, Dubai Al-Arabiya Television in Arabic, an independent television station with connections to the Saudi MBC group, was observed on 6 and 7 November to focus great attention on the Saudi monarch's visit to the Vatican, calling it "historic." The channel carries news of the meeting between King Abdallah and the Pope as its first story in almost all major newscasts. It interviewed reporters and analysts on the visit and carried extensive video footage of the meeting.
For example, the channel devoted the first 12 minutes of its 1500 gmt newscast on 6 November to the visit. Al-Arabiya interviewed its correspondent at the Vatican, Khalid al-Matrafi, who notes that the meeting addressed the issue of inter-faith dialogue and the relationship between Islam and Christianity in addition to "renouncing terrorism and violence."
Sources: as listed