NEWS

Athens selected as a point of operations

On top of the four broadcast centers in Doha, Kuala Lumpur, London and Washington DC, AJI will also depend on a wide network of more than 18 bureaus across the globe (more than 60 if you count those of AJ). Interestingly, AJI picked Athens as a base for its European correspondent. Greeks traditionally pride themselves on their «special relationship» with the Arab world but AJI staff insist that the decision was dictated by more mundane concerns. «Talking to Arab diplomats here in Athens, they do feel a closeness and an empathy with Greek politics but, no, the decision had nothing to do with politics or sentiments toward the Arab world,» Barnaby Phillips said. For one thing, foreign staff readily acknowledge that the Greek capital is an easier place to live and work than it used to be. Its location and the new infrastructure projects, legacy of the 2004 Olympic Games, make Athens a hub for the broader region. «It’s an extremely well-placed city with fantastic infrastructure, courtesy of the Olympic Games. Athens is a good base for a news organization because you can get to so many different places so quickly,» Carlos van Meek said. «Frankly, in our business all we really need is a good Internet connection and a good airport. And, I think, Athens checks both of those boxes pretty well,» he added.