Until the 1990s almost all television
channels in the Arab countries were government owned and
rigidly controlled. These channels still exist but the
situation began to change in the 1990s with the spread of
satellite television. Privately owned and non-governmental
channels introduced livelier programmes aimed at a pan-Arab
audience and also adopted a more professional approach to news
and current affairs.
The pioneer in this field was the news
channel, al-Jazeera, which is financed by the government of
Qatar but has a enjoys a large measure of independence.
Al-Jazeera, many of whose staff originally came from the BBC,
became the first Arabic channel to provide extensive live news
coverage, even sending reporters to previously unthinkable
places, such as Israel. Al-Jazeera also broke new ground with
its discussion programmes which looked at issues from more
than one point of view and often raised subjects that had
previously been taboo.
In this new
atmosphere of increased freedom and competition, Dubai has
been making strenuous efforts to become the main media centre
for the Middle East through the Dubai
Media City project.
The online journal, Transnational
Broadcasting Studies, produced at the American
University in Cairo, is probably the best source for articles
about Arab television. For a complete list of articles in the
journal relating to the Middle East click
Another useful resource is the MEB
Journal, published by the Middle East Broadcasters
Association. It is described as "the first comprehensive
magazine focused on the Arab media and television
industry", covering "all aspects of the emerging
broadcasting and production sector in the Middle East".
Best-known of the Arabic news channels and
probably the most watched, it was established in Qatar in
Al Arabiya (Arabic: العربية, transliterated: al-ʿArabiyyah or al-ʻArabīyah; the name means: "The Arabic One" or "The Arab One"[n 1]) is a Saudi-owned pan-Arab television news channel broadcast in Literary Arabic. Launched on 3 March 2003, the channel is based in Dubai Media City, United Arab Emirates, and is majority-owned by the Saudi broadcaster Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC).
General manager of Al Arabiya is Abdulrahman al Rashed. A free-to-air channel, Al Arabiya carries news, current affairs, business and financial markets, sports, talk shows, and documentaries. It is rated by the BBC among the top pan-Arab stations by Middle East audiences.The channel has been criticized for having a "pro-Saudi agenda", and it was once banned in Iraq by the US-installed Governing Council for "incitement to murder" for broadcasting audio tapes of Saddam Hussein.On 26 January 2009, American president Barack Obama gave his first formal interview as president to the television channel
General information from Wikipedia
Official website; also in English
BBC, November 2003
Alhurra (or al-Hurra) (Arabic: الحرّة, al-Ḥurrah [alˈħurra],[note] "the free one") is a United States-based Arabic-language satellite TV channel funded by the U.S. Congress that broadcasts news and current affairs programming to audiences in the Middle East and North Africa.
Its stated mission is to provide "objective, accurate and relevant news and information" to its audience while seeking to "support democratic values" and "expand the spectrum of ideas, opinions, and perspectives" available in the region's media. The station has also tried to distinguish itself from its numerous regional competitors by claiming to provide more in-depth coverage of U.S. issues and policies and coverage of a broader range of opinions and perspectives not normally heard on other Arab television networks.
Alhurra began broadcasting on February 14, 2004 to 22 countries across the Middle East and North Africa. Like all forms of U.S. public diplomacy, the station is forbidden from broadcasting within the United States under the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act.
In April 2004, an additional channel called Alhurra-Iraq was launched, featuring most of the Alhurra content, with additional programming specifically directed at the Iraqi audience. It is also broadcast on satellite.
General information from Wikipedia
Official website, in English and Arabic
Second Invasion, by Mike Whiney. Counterpunch magazine, 22
on Radio Sawa and al-Hurra Television
by William Rugh. Testimony to Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, 29 April 2012. (PDF)
al-Manar (Arabic: المنار[needs IPA]; English: the beacon) is a Lebanese satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah, broadcasting from Beirut, Lebanon.
Al-Manar was designated as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity," and banned by the United States in December 2004. It has also been banned by France, Spain and Germany, and has run into some service and license problems outside Lebanon,making it unavailable in the Netherlands,Canada and Australia while it has not officially been banned in any of these regions.
Al-Manar's programming consists of 25% music videos and fillers, 25% series and dramas, 25% talk shows, and finally 25% news and family shows. Most of the programming is self-produced, although on occasion, programming from IRIB (Iran) is used. The point-of-view of the programming is strongly anti-Israel and anti-US. "Appearing on al-Manar, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah frequently calls for `Death to America`" and the Statue of Liberty is depicted "as a ghoul, her gown dripping blood, a knife instead of a torch in her raised hand."
Official website. Also in English
By Niraj Warikoo. Detroit Free Press, 20 March, 2010
France closes down
al-Manar TV channel – what comes
Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Israel, 5
Al-Manar in the dog house
Ahram Weekly, 23 December, 2012
Al-Manar and 'TV terrorism'
By Lawrence Smallman. Al-Jazeera, 24 December 2012
Dangerous precedent seen in decision
to put Al-Manar on list of terror organisations
Reporters sans Frontieres, 20 December 2012
Lebanese satellite TV banned from
Reporters sans Frontieres, 14 December 2012