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Al-Quds Becomes First Arabic Publication to Launch Mobile Site

The largest Palestinian newspaper now provides TV on the go.  

The Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds has launched an ambitious multi-media publishing campaign, making it the first Arabic publication to offer TV on its mobile site. 

Al-Quds, a Palestinian Arabic language daily newspaper, is the first of its kind to use the software RAPID Browser, which is a tool used for advanced multimedia publishing. 

The mobile website, m.alquds.com, is intended for cellphones with internet capabilities like the iPhone and BlackBerry.  Users logging on to the Al-Quds mobile site now have access to TV news bulletins, thanks to RAPID Browser technology. 

“RAPID Browser is a module which enables journalists to publish right from their desktop to both web and mobile,” Ali Assam, CEO of KnowledgeView Ltd, told The Media Line.  “The platform is for multi-publishing, so journalists are not just confined to newspapers.”

KnowledgeView Ltd is a UK-based company that develops cross-media publishing tools for newspapers across the world, and was responsible for creating both Al-Quds’ website and its mobile site. 

“We started with Al-Quds two years ago, and that was for paper publishing and then online,” Assam said.  “Now we have upgraded their newsroom, which can enable them to publish to mobile as well.”

Assam explained that Al-Quds wished to increase its circulation, and like most newspapers facing declining sales, looked to the web to gain more readership. 

“They’ve done a marketing study to determine their audience and how to generate money from it,” he said. 

With four billion mobile devices worldwide, Assam advised Al-Quds to adopt a multi-publishing approach that would target the tech-savvy generation. 

“It’s right from the newsroom, 1-click publishing,” he said.  “The video mobile allows journalists to construct their playlists with a news-bulletin and run it on a mobile, and it will run on all mobile devises.”

Media analysts say that the Al-Quds mobile site marks a positive trend in Palestinian media, which will bridge the existing disconnect between high-tech Palestinian youths and the seemingly ancient newspaper industry. 

“More people can read more information when it is online, and I think it is a very good step for Al-Quds,” Mousa Rimawi, general coordinator of the Palestine Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), told The Media Line.

“Generally Palestinian newspapers need a lot development. Al-Quds is the oldest one, and it has more readers than other newspapers. But more people are going to the internet and to TV channels to get their news,” he said.

Palestinian newspapers are no longer popular, Rimawi explained, because it is much easier for youth to gain access to news through the internet and television. 

“Newspapers, especially since the occupation, are not so popular because of many factors,” Rimawi said. “With the emergence of internet and satellite channels, more people choose to take information from these sources.”

“Everybody is thinking about how to reach people through the internet,” Rimawi said.  “It’s not just a local trend, it’s an international trend.”