Reasoning: Poor Sourcing, Propaganda
Country: Saudi Arabia
World Press Freedom Rank: Saudi Arabia 170/180
Launched in 1980 by Hisham Hafiz, The Majalla is an English-language weekly magazine published online and, based in London/UK. The magazine is published in Arabic, English, and French. The Majalla focuses on the Middle East and features news, politics, interviews, economy, culture, and more. The Majalla is published by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC) and the current Editor-in-Chief is Ghassan Charbel. The Chairman of the Saudi Research & Marketing Group is Abdulrahman Al-Ruweite.
Funded by / Ownership
The Majalla is owned by The Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG). Their main shareholder is The National Commercial Bank (NCB), also known as AlAhli Bank, which is owned by the Saudi Government through the Public Investment Fund (PIF). Revenue is derived through advertising.
Analysis / Bias
In 2020 Reporters Without Borders ranked Saudi Arabia 170/180 in their Press Freedom Index, stating that “Saudi Arabia permits no independent media. The authorities keep Saudi journalists under close surveillance, even when they are abroad, as Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in Istanbul in October 2018 illustrated.”
In review, The Majalla poorly sources and does not provide hyperlinks, however when covering world news they utilize credible sources such as AFP, AP, and Reuters by republishing their articles. They also publish long-form analysis utilizes Foreign Affairs. In their headlines, The Majalla uses emotionally loaded language and while the news is generally reported factually, it is one-sided and always favorable to the Saudi Government and especially Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman such as Peace.. A True Saudi Ideal”, and “Saudi Crown Prince Warns of Escalation with Iran, Prefers Political Solution”. Another example is the Saudi Corruption Crackdown which was reported exclusively by western media such as the AP and NBC news, but not in the Saudi Press. The Majalla also frequently reports negatively on rival countries such as Iran, “A New Regional Order in the Middle East”. In general, this is a source that promotes pro-state propaganda through excessive censorship that prohibits criticism of the government.
Failed Fact Checks
- None Found
Overall, we rate The Majalla Questionable due to excessive government censorship that results in the publication of pro-state propaganda. We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to the omission of key facts in stories and misleading one-sided reporting. (8/17/2016) Updated (M. Huitsing 6/9/2020)