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Mosaic: World News from the Middle East
Saudi Arabia

Al-Ikhbariya
 

 

Al-Ikhbariya, launched in January 2004, was the first Saudi state-owned TV network to feature women anchors. Al-Ikhbariya covers local and international news and broadcasts hourly news bulletins. Their programming also includes live debate shows which the network directors hope will involve some European and American personalities. The station directors also said that there may be English-language programming in the future.

 

Saudi Arabia has three other national channels which are overseen by the Information Ministry. One broadcasts in English and another is dedicated to sports. Al-Ikhbariya is the fourth and has about 25 correspondents in Saudi Arabia and another 20 abroad.

 

The channel was established to improve the image of Saudi Arabia and its media in the region and the rest of the world. Satellite television has never been formally legalized in the kingdom, but it is widely watched there. According to a June 2003 Zogby International poll, 91% of Saudis watch satellite television, and nearly two-thirds (63%) have Internet access.


Al-Ikhbariya
Ministry of Information
PO Box 529
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 11421
Fax: +966 1 442 8272
E-mail: inform.eng@awalnet.net.sa

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

 

QUICK FACTS:

Population:
 18,717,768
  
Total Area:
 1,960,582 sq km
 slightly more than one-fifth the size of the U.S.
  
Government Type:
 Monarchy
  
Currency:
 Saudi riyal (SAR)
  
Religions:
 Muslim
  
Languages:
 Arabic
  
Legal System:
 Based on Islamic law, several secular codes have been introduced; commercial disputes handled by special committees
  
Suffrage:
 None