Al Mayadeen is the ideological and business rival of Al Jazeera in the Middle East, and Ghassan bin Jiddo, a Tunisian/Lebanese journalist, is the man responsible for its meteoric rise in the Gulf countries.
He resigned from the Qatar-based Al Jazeera in 2011, criticising its reporting of the Arab Spring. Ghassan seemingly accused Al Jazeera of deviating from “professional broadcasting standards”, emphasising that Al Mayadeen would remain objective and unbiased. He claimed that the Al Jazeera ignored the situation in Bahrain while covering the events in Syria, Yemen and Libya.
“We do not speak in the name of Iran or the Syrian regime, we are a completely independent channel which reflects reality as it is,” he said at a press conference, as reported by France 24. However, the funding source of the company has not been fully disclosed.
Prior to founding Al Mayadeen, he studied in Tunisia, where he engaged in activism. After graduating, he started his journalism career as a correspondent for BBC Network, Al Hayat, and other local media outlets, eventually ending up at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, DC.
Ghassan later became the bureau chief of Al Jazeera in Iran and Beirut. During this time, he interviewed influential figures such as the secretary general of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, Julia Boutros, Walid Jumblat and former Cuban president Fidel Castro. He was the most highly watched interviewer in the Al Jazeera network in 2007.
Arabian Business has deemed him to be one of the most influential Arab figures in the world on multiple occasions.Tags: journalism, Middle East