|ARAB NEWS NETWORK|
Broadcast in Arabic from studios in London, England, Arab News Network (ANN) was launched in May 1997. Its satellite transmissions reach the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Funded by commercials from both Arab and major international brands, the independent station broadcasts 24-hour news coverage and analysis of current affairs in Arabic with what it describes as "a firm commitment to democracy and freedom of speech." ANN is owned by businessman Rafik Khalifa, based in Algeria.
ANN's programming consists of news bulletins, every 15 minutes starting from 9:00 to 12:00 GMT, and political, economic and social analysis. Material is gathered from a network of international correspondents that function as a global news service. News and political programs include Al Masa'ya, The Political Club, Al Zahira, and The Press Today. ANN often uses interviews to present a variety of viewpoints. Opposing views on contemporary topics are presented in programs such as Current Affairs, Reportage and the talk show Kanadeel and Muajahai ('confrontation'). Lighter tastes are also catered to with programs such as Cinema 2000, Olympica and Musica, a pop music show.
Alhurra (Arabic for "The Free One") is a commercial-free Arabic-language satellite television channel for the Middle East devoted primarily to news and information. Broadcasting 5-hours per day, the programming is not yet available to U.S. networks. In addition to reporting on regional and international events, the channel broadcasts discussion programs, current affairs magazines and features on a variety of subjects including health and personal fitness, entertainment, sports, fashion, and science and technology.
Alhurra is operated by The Middle East Television Network, Inc., a non-profit corporation funded by the U.S. Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). The BBG is a federal agency that supervises all U.S. non-military international broadcasting. The channel, with a staff of over 200 and a first-year budget of $62 million, broadcasts throughout the Middle East by satellite from studios in Springfield, Virginia and has bureaus throughout the Middle East.
Alhurra reaches 22 Arab nations via satellites. Its programming is reportedly often met with skepticism, being thought of as American propaganda. Its Lebanese director, Muafac Harb, maintains that one of the missions of his network is to deliver accurate and balanced coverage.