New TV station ‘to have wide-scale effect’ on Arab sector

Israeli Arab advocacy group says private station is important for community's freedom of speech, access to information.

Underpolled 521 (do not publish again) (photo credit: Flash 90)
Underpolled 521 (do not publish again)
(photo credit: Flash 90)
A new Arabic language television station will have a watershed effect for Israel’s Arab sector, an Israeli Arab advocacy group said Thursday.
“The establishment of this station is important for our freedom of speech as a community, our access to information, and the creation of democratic platforms,” Jafar Farah, director of the Haifa-based Mossawa Center – The Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens of Israel, said on Thursday.
Farah added that “the station will also provide new jobs for young media professionals who have previously been forced to seek employment in the West Bank and abroad.”
The statement followed an announcement by the Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting that the Hala TV group had won a bid to launch Israel’s first Arabic-language station.
The investment group behind Hala TV includes Arabs and Jews from human rights groups, communication firms, and the welfare and education sectors.
According to Mossawa, the investors “plan to promote social issues and the socio-economic and cultural development of the Arab community by investing in locally-produced content and drawing on the expertise of civil society organizations.”