Saturday, February 19, 2011

U.S.-funded Arabic TV might have affected events in Egypt

"Alhurra TV, a U.S. government-funded Arabic language satellite television news channel, said on Thursday that 25 percent of Egyptians in Cairo and Alexandria viewed its coverage of the 18-day uprising that forced President Hosni Mubarak from office on Feb. 11.

The finding, which is based on a poll, puts Alhurra ahead of TV broadcasters BBC, CNN and al Jazeera, although behind four other broadcasters. The most watched channel was Dubai-based al Arabia.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee had questioned Alhurra's effectiveness in a 2010report, calling it "little watched" and expensive.

"The survey results confirm what we had been hearing throughout the last three weeks, that Alhurra was a prominent source of news and information for the Egyptian people," said Brian Conniff, president of the U.S. government's Middle East Broadcasting Network, which operates Alhurra..."

http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0211/021711wm1.htm