Thursday, April 29, 2004

Broadcast It, They Will Watch

Via LGF comes this interesting piece about an American television broadcast operation that was set up as an alternative to the anti-American bias of the likes of Al Jazeera. It seems to be attracting a growing number of viewers, even though Reuters characterizes it as "controversial."

WASHINGTON, April 29 (Reuters) - The controversial U.S. Arabic-language TV channel Alhurra is winning viewers as a news source in the Arab world despite rising anti-American attitudes in the region, according to a U.S.-financed poll released on Thursday.

The telephone survey of 3,588 people aged 15 or older in 13 cities was done by the French research company Ipsos-Stat in early April for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the independent federal agency that oversees all U.S. international nonmilitary broadcasting.

The results showed Alhurra -- in its first two months -- is being watched by an average 29 percent of the satellite-equipped households in seven countries, including a high of 44 percent in Kuwait and a low of 18 percent in Egypt.

The survey also found that an average 53 percent of the viewers consider the channel programming to be reliable or somewhat reliable. This includes a high of 70 percent reliability felt by Saudis and a low of 37 percent reliability among Syrians.

This is something about which I have not heard until now and I am excited about the concept! If there is one thing that Americans understand, it's how to form opinion via the tube. I don't know whose idea this was, but I say give him (or her) a raise and a promotion.