UK foreign secretary condemns attack on BBC cameraman at Trump rally

A BBC cameraman was attacked by a man wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat as he was working at a rally held by President Trump in El Paso, Texas on Monday. (Reuters)
Updated 13 February 2019
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UK foreign secretary condemns attack on BBC cameraman at Trump rally

  • Trump has frequently attacked the news media for what he views as unfair coverage, decrying some outlets as peddlers of “fake news” and “enemy of the people”

LONDON: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Tuesday condemned an attack on a BBC cameraman by a supporter of US President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas.
Asked on Tuesday by Sky News whether it was acceptable for Trump to whip up his fans to the point that a cameraman was attacked, Hunt said: “It is never acceptable when journalists and cameramen are attacked just for doing their job.”
Wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap, a man was seen shoving BBC cameraman Ron Skeans before being pulled away on Monday, according to a BBC video.
Trump has frequently attacked the news media for what he views as unfair coverage, decrying some outlets as peddlers of “fake news” and “enemy of the people.”
News outlets have pushed back, with New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger joining others in saying that Trump’s language has increased the prospect of journalists facing violence, both in the United States and abroad.
“There is a broader issue here which is that last year 80 journalists were killed across the world just for doing their job,” Hunt said. “We are very worried about this.”
The White House News Photographers Association condemned the attack and said the White House, the Secret Service and local law enforcement should do more to protect journalists at Trump events. Skeans is a member of the association.
“Furthermore, given that the president’s rhetoric about journalists is too often false and derogatory, we ask that he refrain from unnecessarily targeting journalists with his speech since such rhetoric may be inciting violent acts such as this one,” the group said in a statement.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump “condemns all acts of violence against any individual or group of people — including members of the press. We ask that anyone attending an event do so in a peaceful and respectful manner.”
The BBC reported that the Trump supporter pushed Skeans and cursed at him during the rally. It published video of the encounter that ends with the supporter being restrained and moved away from the media area.
“Are you alright?” Trump asked after seeing the encounter, giving a thumbs up to the cameraman. “Everything OK?“
The BBC said it wrote a letter to the White House asking for a “review of security arrangements” for media covering Trump’s rallies. Skeans suffered no lasting harm, the BBC said.
The Committee to Protect Journalists also criticized Trump. “It’s outrageous that a journalist was attacked while covering a presidential speech,” Alexandra Ellerbeck, the nonprofit organization’s North America program coordinator, said in a statement. “We call on President Trump to moderate his rhetoric against the press and to state clearly that physically attacking media personnel is not acceptable.”


Arab News at 44: Online Pakistan edition has formed its own regional identity

Updated 20 April 2019
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Arab News at 44: Online Pakistan edition has formed its own regional identity

  • Arab News expanded its footprint entering Pakistan in mid 2017
  • Its Pakistan Edition was founded on February 2018 and has been a major success

ISLAMABAD: Arab News’ online Pakistan edition, which launched on Feb. 8, 2018, has established itself as a credible extension of the Riyadh-based newspaper, which today marks its 44th anniversary.
Arab News entered Pakistan as part of the newspaper’s ongoing global and digital expansion, and to tap news from other parts of Asia, hiring skilled journalists and freelance contributors.
An exclusive interview in October 2018 with Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who was newly elected as prime minister at the time, catapulted Arab News in Pakistan.
Realizing the news potential in the country, Arab News capitalized on its success and set up a bureau, but not before landing more special reports that grabbed the local media’s attention and attracted a larger readership.
The website www.arabnews.pk became the parent organization’s first in a series of country-specific online editions that the newspaper is planning to launch, and is part of its “more digital, more global” strategy.
Former Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, who on Thursday was appointed minister for science and technology, officially inaugurated the newspaper’s Pakistan bureau earlier this year.
Led by award-winning veteran journalist Baker Atyani, and under the guidance of Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas, the team at the Pakistan edition has worked diligently to penetrate the country’s vibrant news market.
As such, followership of the newspaper’s Pakistan social media account has quickly ballooned.
Its online coverage of the first visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Pakistan in February was widely praised.
Arab News published special reports and features on the deep-rooted and diversifying ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Also a major hit was Abbas’s exclusive, lengthy sit-down with President Dr. Arif Alvi during the crown prince’s visit.
Another exclusive that garnered a serious online buzz was on Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris offering to build 100,000 housing units in Pakistan.
The Pakistan edition has kept a special focus on business and finance, and has spoken with movers and shakers, including those in the corridors of power.
In August 2018, it exposed the ruling party’s hit single “Rok Sako To Rok Lo Tabdeeli Aayi Re,” produced for the last general election, as being suspiciously similar to a remixed version of the Indian religious song “Bankya Maa Re Nach. The report was instantly picked up by Pakistani media.
Days before the election, Atyani conducted a one-on-one exclusive with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Arab News’ Pakistan edition is part of the regional publishing giant Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG). With the edition’s success, the SRMG is looking to replicate the model across Asia.