(photo credit: OliveTreeNews.com)
A new Web site purports to cover the Middle East from a wide variety of
perspectives, claiming to be “the fastest gateway to knowing about the latest
developments in the Middle East.”
OliveTreeNews.com collects items from
news agencies across the region and around the world. Israeli, Egyptian,
Jordanian, Lebanese, Qatari and Iranian sources work for the site and are all
volunteers. Most prefer to stay anonymous.
“Multiple times a day, Olive-
TreeNews aggregates breaking stories, highlights controversies and showcases
op-eds from approximately 100 different news sources worldwide,” the Web site
boasts. “[It] is the ideal networking and research tool for decision-makers and
empowered leaders alike.”
Brian Blondy, a co-creator and the director of
communications for the site, said the portal sought to fill a gap in the
coverage of the region.
“For us, the most important thing is to create
media transparency and objectivity,” Blondy told The Jerusalem Post
“"As citizens of the Middle East, we want to comment on the events happening around
us in their wider context, and also see their repercussions in their wider
context. Being country-centric is no longer enough; people want to know the full
Established in March 2009, the site was modeled on the aggregated
format of the American Drudge Report site, and promises to provide an overview
of current affairs via news stories, editorials, interviews from key
opinion-makers and analyses free of political or religious bias.
and his two partners are, for now, financing the site from their own pockets,
but they aim to expand the project and are looking for
already has over 40,000 viewers from more than 70
countries, he said.
Blondy said the site would succeed because many
government-owned media outlets across the region were slowly breaking
the status quo.
“We felt that it is either now or never,” he said. “The
Middle East is at the center of the world’s attention; it will never be
of news. The question is how do you report on news that can at times be
sensitive and controversial? “It is time for Arabs themselves to report
issues, and for Israelis to take their reports seriously and vice
All we ask of our readers is for them to access our site with an
open mind and to evaluate the news provided purely on the basis of its
rather than its origin.”
The site’s content can be accessed via Twitter,
Facebook, the OliveTreeNews.com blog and YouTube.