“A news sense is really a sense of what is important, what is vital, what has color and life — what people are interested in. That’s journalism.” This quotation of Arthur Burton Rascoe, former editor and literary critic of the New York Herald Tribune, also applies to Arab News, the Kingdom’s leading English daily, whose news coverage has ranged from vital to the colorful aspects of life.
What has propelled Arab News to the forefront of English dailies in the Gulf is its comprehensive coverage of local news of four to five pages daily under the dynamic leadership of Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi, our editor in chief.
This is aside from regional and international coverage of news and views, making it the preferred choice of expatriates, Saudi and other business executives, senior government officials and diplomats who look forward this newspaper for all types of news. No wonder, it has carved out its own space in terms of scoops and other major stories.
The following is a cross-section of some of the exclusive stories that were featured in Arab News in the chronological order in the recent past.
On March 29, 2014, the newspaper carried a front page story on the talks between Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and US President Barack Obama focusing on the Iranian nuclear deal, Syria’s three-year-old civil war and their repercussions on the neighboring countries.
They also dwelt on key bilateral and regional issues such as Gulf security, the Middle East peace process and Egypt.
“Washington and Riyadh are working together to address a number of critical bilateral and regional issues, including resolving the crisis in Syria, preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, counterterrorism efforts to combat extremism, and supporting negotiations to achieve Middle East peace,” said a joint statement issued later.
Then, this year’s visit of Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, to four countries-Pakistan, India, China and Maldives-was very comprehensively covered by Arab News.
This high-profile visit was rich in the contents of diplomacy and politics as Saudi Arabia looks to the East to forge closer ties in different domains other than business.
Prince Salman’s trip was preceded by the presentation of SR855 billion annual budget by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
Arab News was also on the forefront in reporting political changes taking place in the region as well as inside the country. It reported extensively the appointment of Prince Muqrin as second deputy premier, Prince Mishal as new Makkah governor and Prince Khaled as new education minister.
The coverage of the visit of French President Francois Hollande late last year was exceptional. He, like Prince Charles of the United Kingdom, performed a sword dance with top Saudi officials and shared lighter moments.
Arab News also interviewed on April 23, 2013 Mexico’s business tycoon Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man with a net worth of $73 billion.
He unveiled his plans to invest billions of dollars in some lucrative petrochemical projects in Jubail and other projects in undisclosed sectors.
Another exclusive on Jan. 9, 2013 was an interview with Hina Rabbani Khar, youngest and first female foreign minister of Pakistan, during her visit to Riyadh.
Among other top stories in 2011, Arab News had an interview with former US President Bill Clinton when he described small- and mid-sized private enterprises as a key to the Kingdom’s long-term job growth and prosperity.
He was speaking at the 5th Global Competitiveness Forum on January 26, when he cautioned nations across the Middle East and North Africa that there were no substitutes for good governance and opportunities for the uneducated and impoverished.
The former president was upbeat about the Saudi economy and praised the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority for its visionary 10×10 program, which sought to elevate the Kingdom’s global competitiveness to among the top 10 countries worldwide by 2010. Saudi Arabia is now ranked 11th, a significant increase since the program was launched a few years ago.
Another landmark event for Arab News was on November 14, 2006 in Riyadh.
In his presentation at the CIO Summit, Bill Gates discussed how improvements in the hardware and applications available in digital devices, combined with a much higher bandwidth and richer content, would help us organize information and consequently be more productive in our jobs.
Within five years, Gates predicted that improvements in speech recognition technologies would mean that people would use digital devices with speech as the primary input method, rather than a keyboard or touch screen for example. Speech would also be used for functionalities such as search.
Last but not the least, Arab News has also been playing a major advocacy role for Saudi women and for their empowerment.
This paper was the first to flash the news entitled “Women ready for top cabinet roles,” “Ministry for women empowerment urged,” and “Saudi demand laws to protect girls from domestic violence.”
These are some of the stories which testify to Arab News as a newspaper that readers, including decision-makers, look forward to at their breakfast table.

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