200726 Gulf News Hope Probe
Gulf News cited for comprehensive coverage of Hope Probe. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Gulf News, the UAE’s newspaper of record, received a citation from Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs, for its comprehensive coverage of the historic UAE Hope Probe Mars Mission on Sunday.

The UAE government also thanked local, regional and international Arabic and English media platforms for their coverage of the first interplanetary mission undertaken by an Arab nation.

According to the UAE Media Office, “the launch of Hope Probe topped trending charts across all social media channels.

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“For three months from Hope Probe’s arrival in Japan in April 2020, until the historic date of its launch – on July 20, 2020 - more than 1.5 billion people closely followed the media coverage – locally, regionally, and internationally – reading, watching, and engaging in conversations in various languages across channels, including newspapers, magazines, websites, and broadcast media. The live coverage of the launch also received exceptional traction across the world,” it underlined.

The Media Office noted: “Coverage peaked on the day of the launch (July 20) with hundreds of articles in prominent newspapers and global news websites in the first 12 hours following the launch, until the ground space station welcomed the Probe’s first message.”

Gulf News’ comprehensive coverage

Gulf News, for its part, maintained online live reporting from the control room in Dubai at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre. It also shared incisive breaking news and updates from Tanegashima Space Centre (TNSC) in Japan, where Hope Probe was launched.

Gulf News also did interactive reporting – online, in print and across various social media channels – detailing the mission and technical specifications of Hope Probe. GN’s online engagement alone ran in millions of page views and hundreds of thousands unique browsers.

Hope Probe stories

Based on UAE Media Office monitoring, “in the first two weeks of July prior to the launch, about 2,700 original press materials on the Hope Probe were monitored, including press releases, articles, investigative reports and stories across Arab and international newspapers, websites, and social media platforms.”

“These materials, representing diverse media outlets, and chosen as a sample to explore the audiences’ interests, achieved 516 million views,” according to a survey conducted by the UAE Media Office.

Coverage of the Hope Probe was also significant across international media channels, especially in the US and Europe.

The Media Office also noted: “Coverage of Hope Probe made up 60 per cent of the content across local platforms and channels, including print, digital, visual, and social media. The coverage secured across news and social media platforms continued to surge, reaching 75 per cent in the week prior to the launch, with the lion’s share belonging to social media and interactive digital platforms.”

“Leading the list of highest engagements was Twitter, followed by Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. Local engagement on these platforms exceeded 90 per cent on the day of the launch, reaching 95 per cent in the hour scheduled for launch, and 97 per cent in the first 12 hours post-launch, when compared to other local conversation topics,” it added.