by Raya Shokatfard
Head of Azeri Public TV wants to be on air in August "at
The newly-established Azerbaijani Public TV will go on air in
August 2005 at whatever the cost, its director-general has said.
In an interview with the Azerbaijani opposition newspaper Yeni
Musavat, Ismayil Omarov denied reports on insufficient funding
and said that the state bodies respond positively to all financial
issues which he raises. Central News Agency website, Taipei.
Afghan TV reporter beaten up while filming
Roadblocks are one of the main problems for people in Kabul.
When a government official passes, the residents of Kabul have
to wait for a long time in hot weather until roads are reopened
to traffic. On Tuesday [14 July], national security department
officials beat up an Aina TV reporter who was trying to prepare
a report from the scene. The problem was caused because the
road was closed so that the car of government official could
pass by. Aina TV, Sheberghan.
USA/Turkey: Joint venture to launch Internet TV service
Phase Technologies announced today [11 July] that Beyaz Holding
Company, owner of Turkey's leading television news and entertainment
station, has aired a segment on its "The Economy Today"
series, describing the benefits of a planned digital television
service via the privatized national telephone network. Beyaz
Holding and mPhase have formed a joint venture, mPhase Teknoloji,
which is awaiting a licence to deliver the internet television
(IPTV) service targeted for delivery via Turk Telekom, the soon-to-be
privatized national telecommunications company. mPhase Technologies
press release, Little Falls, New Jersey
Malaysia: Media Prima signs deal with NTV7
Media Prima Bhd has entered into a Collaboration and Assistance
Agreement with Natseven TV Sdn Bhd, Synchrosound Studio Sdn
Bhd, Questseven Dot Com Sdn Bhd (the companies) and the respective
companies' shareholders, to provide assistance for the companies
to undertake a corporate and debt restructuring scheme and identify
areas where both groups can form a strategic alliance to work
together. Natseven TV is currently the owner and operator of
NTV7, Malaysia's second free-to-air television network, whilst
Synchrosound Studios and Questseven Dot Com Sdn Bhd are, respectively,
the licence holder and operator of a radio station known as
Wow FM, Media Prima said in a statement today. Under the agreement,
Media Prima will use its expertise to assist the debt and corporate
restructuring of the service companies, with the aim of strengthening
the financial position and operations of NTV7 and Wow FM. Bernama
news agency website, Kuala Lumpur
West Bank and Gaza: UAE donates broadcast equipment
Palestinian news agency Wafa website on 14 July carries a report
on the Palestinian authorities receiving TV and radio broadcast
equipment from the UAE. The report says: "The [Palestinian]
National Authority received today in the Jordanian capital,
Amman, five consignments of TV and radio broadcast equipment
worth 1.2m dollars. This equipment was donated by the brotherly
state of the UAE to the Palestinian people." The report
adds that Dr Radwan Abu-Ayash, head of the Palestinian Broadcasting
Corporation (PBC), expressed "the appreciation of the PBC,
the National Authority and the Palestinian people to the UAE".
He also stressed "the deep-rooted and solid relations between
the UAE and Palestine".
Abu-Ayash adds that the equipment is expected to be shipped
to Ramallah "with the aim of using it to expand TV and
radio transmissions". Palestinian news agency Wafa web
Afghan TV reports journalist beaten up by military
Kamran Mirhazar, editor-in-chief of Chai-e Dagh [hot tea] weekly,
has been beaten up by military officers in Kabul city.Similarly,
four reporters were recently threatened and beaten up by a group
of militiamen in Konar Province. This is the fourth journalist
threatened and beaten up by armed men. According to Mirhazar,
he was threatened and beaten up by military officers when he
was taking pictures in a crowded area of Kabul city. He said
there was no sign prohibiting photography in the area. Tolu
Fined Bosnian TV to resume broadcasting on 1 September
Bosnian Alfa TV will resume broadcasting on 1 September 2005,
the IRIB correspondent in Sarajevo reports based on information
from one of the most widely read Bosnian papers, Dnevni avaz.
This newspaper announced that Sanela Prasovic, famous journalist
from Bosnian Federation TV, had been appointed director of Alfa
TV after a meeting with the Avaz management [the owner of Dnevni
avaz daily bought Alfa TV]. Alfa TV was previously fined 50,000
convertible marks for broadcasting religious programmes, by
the Bosnian Communications Regulatory Agency, which is chaired
by Jakob Finci, who is the head of the Bosnian Jewish Community.
Radio Naba web site, Visoko
Indonesian paper notes increase in religious TV programmes
Tune in to virtually any local TV station during prime time
these days and God-believing folk will find that the Supreme
Being as they know Him has turned into a malevolent entity.
The television programmes, regular soap operas with God's name
attached to their title, carry a formulaic story line in which
sinners of all kinds, from corrupt state officials and gamblers
to a misbehaving son, will be punished by God with a very painful
death, ranging from literally being burnt in hell, eaten by
flesh-eating worms to being swallowed alive by the earth. By
the drama's end, after a noisy commercial break, a preacher
will appear on screen to give a sermon about what sinners will
face in the afterlife in return for their misdemeanors and will
remind viewers not to commit sinful acts.
Veven said that religious programmes gained currency after the
populace was dealt a series of natural disasters such as the
Aceh tsunami and unbearable social ills such as corruption.
"In the face of such incomprehensible calamity people tried
to escape from reality. They also grow desperate, as corruption
remains unbridled; religious programmes are a kind of escapism,"
he said. The Jakarta Post web site, Jakarta
Four new state regional language PTV channels planned
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shaykh Rashid Ahmed
Monday said four new channels of Pakistan Television would be
launched to provide news, current affairs and entertainment
programmes in regional languages. Pashto and Sindhi channels
would be started in the first phase while a new centre of PTV
would be established at Multan, the minister said while presiding
over a meeting, the PTV reported. He said PTV is the custodian
of the country's ideological boundaries, which presents programmes
keeping in view its traditions and culture.
Appreciating the performance of PTV administration, Shaykh Rashid
directed that arrangements be made to ensure countrywide transmissions
and to expand the same to Islamic countries and Europe. Participating
in the meeting, Secretary Information and Broadcasting Shahid
Rafi stressed the need to provide expatriate Pakistanis quick
access to news updates and entertainment programmes. Associated
Press of Pakistan news agency, Islamabad
Yemen to launch independent youth channel in September
The Sanaa University is preparing for launching the first ever
independent space channel for youths in Yemen's history. The
initial broadcasting of the channel will start next September,
said vice rector of Sanaa university, Ahmad al-Kebsi. Al-Kebsi
expected that the channel starts its first broadcasting while
celebrations on the occasion of the 26 September revolution.
He said the channel will have programs dealing with youths in
accordance with the media policy in the country. Saba news agency
National TV station launched in Somaliland
Eng Selgio Carl, accompanied by Eng Mahmud Nasir and Eng Ali
Mire, who in the recent past have been busy working on the installation
of Somaliland national TV station, have this morning handed
over the station to the minister of information and guidance,
Hon Abdullahi Muhammad Du'ale, at the ministry's HQ. Radio Hargeysa
Chairman of Palestine Radio and Television Corporation relieved
President Mahmud Abbas today decided to relieve Radwan Abu-Ayyash
of his post as chairman of the Palestine Radio and Television
Corporation and place him at the disposal of the minister of
information. Palestinian news agency Wafa website, Gaza
Abu-Sumayyah appointed head of Palestine Radio and Television
Dr Nabil Sha'th, deputy prime minister and information minister,
issued a decision this evening appointing brother Basim Abu-Sumayyah
as chairman of the Palestine Radio and Television Corporation.
The decision falls within the process of reconstructing and
developing the work of Palestinian media outlets. The information
minister commended the hard work carried out by former chairman
of the Palestine Radio and Television Corporation, Dr Radwan
Abu-Ayyash, who exerted great efforts to establish the corporation
in the homeland amid critical conditions.Palestinian news agency
Wafa website, Gaza
Court rules Croat vital interests not endangered by Bosnian
The Bosnia-Hercegovina Constitutional Court has established
that the bill on the Bosnia-Hercegovina Public Radio-TV system
does not endanger the vital interests of Croats. The 6 July
request to the Constitutional Court to reassess this law was
submitted by the Bosnia-Hercegovina Parliamentary Assembly's
House of Peoples' Speaker Velimir Jukic. SRNA news agency
Pakistan’s PM announces plan to launch new TV channels
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has said the government will launch
four regional languages TV channels, a channel for youth, and
sports channel, from next month which will not only promote
national integrity and unity but would also promote our culture
and traditions. The prime minister was addressing the turnaround
ceremony of Pakistan Television at PTV Centre in Islamabad.
Mr Shaukat Aziz said there is fast competition in the field
of media in Pakistan with the emergence of private TV channels.
He commended the efforts of PTV and expressed the hope that
with the talent available, PTV would further excel in the existing
competition. Associated Press of Pakistan news agency, Islamabad.
Pakistan: PTV projecting real culture, values and traditions,
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz Saturday [23 July] said Pakistan
Television has been projecting true image of the country and
promoting real values and traditions. Addressing a function
here at PTV headquarters, he announced that government would
launch four new channels in provincial languages on 14 August,
to promote national integrity, culture and tradition. The prime
minister said the government would also launch a sports and
a youth channel very soon. Press of Pakistan news agency, Islamabad
Saudi Arabia: New satellite channel Jedda TV "to promote
tourism" in kingdom
Officials of the Jedda satellite channel (Jedda TV) have started
their preparations for launching the new channel that will start
broadcasting in September to promote and encourage tourism in
Saudi Arabia. It will broadcast via the Arabsat satellites.
The channel has a large number of tourism programmes that aim
to promote domestic tourist activities that involve travel companies
and agencies, hotels, resorts, restaurants, children's tourism,
sports tourism and environmental tourism. It will also carry
live relays of Saudi shares prices and a special programme about
the economic and aesthetic aspects of gold and jewellery in
addition to exhibitions, fairs, heritage and culture.
The channel will also focus on highlighting and promoting the
advantages of domestic tourism so as to increase investments
in remote areas in addition to showing an interest in Saudi
heritage, highlighting the varied local cultures and bolstering
national affiliation, especially among the young and teenagers,
by promoting domestic tourism. The channel also allocated almost
15m riyals [4m US dollars] a year as financial support for 30
Saudi youths from both sexes every month to establish tourism
projects with a capital of half a million riyals for every project.
The aim is to create more jobs for Saudi youths and at the same
time bolster Saudi tourism. This programme will be addressed
to the youths under the title "Key to the Breakthrough".
Elaph website, London
Bahrain: Al-Jazeera launches mobile phone text news service
The Al-Jazeera Channel and Al-Majaz Telecom have recently signed
an agreement with Bahrain's Telecommunications Company Batelco
to provide breaking, political, business, and sports news through
Al-Jazeera Mobile Short Messaging Service SMS [phone text] to
customers in Bahrain. Batelco subscribers in Bahrain can subscribe
to Al-Jazeera Mobile, in Arabic or English, via calling 196
or by registering on the company's brand new mobile portal "aywah"
In the future, Al-Jazeera Channel will introduce the (WAP) technology,
where "Batelco" subscribers can browse a selection
of articles from the AlJazeera.Net website through their GSM,
and "Video Streaming", where mobile owners can watch
Al-Jazeera Channel news and programmes on their GSM. In addition
to that, "aywah" has already introduced Al-Jazeera
Mobile through its WAP portal (wap.aywah.com.bh), said a press
release yesterday. Al-Jazeera Channel's Marketing Director Hamad
Yahya Al-Nuaimi expressed his pleasure over the partnership
with Batelco. "It is gratifying that Bahrain is another
country to utilize our service, and can be added to the list
of countries where Al-Jazeera Mobile is operating, such as,
Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Yemen, Sudan,
and Syria. We are looking forward to extending the reach of
Al-Jazeera Mobile service worldwide," he said.
"Our mobile portal (aywah) is primarily aimed at the youth
market with a whole host of ring tones, wallpapers, screensavers,
games, local news and so on. The addition of Al-Jazeera Channel
news adds dimensions that extend the appeal of the service deeper
into other areas of multi-media communication and into a wider
marketplace," said Hamza Ali, Senior Manager Mobile Services
Afghan TV channel objects to paper's accusation of pro-Taleban
Today's edition of Anis daily accused Tolu television of broadcasting
biased and untrue reports in favour of terrorists. When asked
by a Tolu correspondent for evidence, Sakhi Munir, the editor-in-chief
of Anis, said they had no clear evidence.
The editorial published in Anis today says that the untrue reports,
quoting the Taleban spokesman [Latifollah Hakimi], which are
broadcast on Tolu television, are in favour of the Taleban and
such reports support terrorism and play an active role in destabilizing
the situation in the country.
Following these allegations, a Tolu correspondent interviewed
Sakhi Munir, the editor-in-chief of Anis daily, and asked him
for clear evidence to support these accusations. Mr Munir gave
his personal opinion without providing any clear evidence and
said that they had no evidence to prove their allegations. Tolu
"Middle East's biggest urban TV" inaugurated in Tehran
Iranian news agencies and newspapers have reported the inauguration
of "the Middle East's biggest urban TV". The giant
TV screen was inaugurated on 28 July and is located in Vanak
Square in north Tehran. It is said to be the second such TV
installed in Tehran.
The TV's main function will be to broadcast commercial and business
advertisements for the area. Based on agreements, 70 per cent
of the revenue from this function will go to the private sector
for seven years in order to repay the capital and the profit
[interest]. During this time, Tehran Municipality will have
three hours per day, free of charge, to broadcast its own programmes
for the education of citizens and to provide information. After
seven years, the TV will belong completely to Tehran Municipality,"
Afruzmanesh reported. Iranian briefing material from BBC Monitoring
TV presenter wants to leave the country due to death threats
Ashna, a presenter and producer of the private Tolu TV station
in Kabul, claims that he has not left his house for the past
month and a half due to death threats he has received.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok news agency this week,
Ashna said that someone by phone in a Kandahari accent threatened
to kill him. He was the producer of the Hard Talk programme,
and according to him it was this program that caused all the
problems for him. Afghan independent Pajhwok news agency Web
Afghan religious scholar optimistic on new TV channel, supports
The main subject of the meeting was the parliamentary election.
Religious officials have made some recommendations to the president.
The scholars asked Mr Karzai to put an end to the propaganda
smear campaign of Afghanistan's enemies. We also discussed restricting
non-Islamic broadcasts, the drinking of alcohol and taking of
drugs, drug trafficking and ways to fight cultural onslaughts.
The president welcomed the scholars' request and promised to
provide them with a TV station. As you are aware, Mullah Omar,
the Taleban leader, has called on religious scholars to stop
preaching against the Taleban. In response to this demand, the
religious officials asked Mullah Omar to stop killing the innocent,
in particular religious scholars. The duty of religious officials
is to state the facts and the truth. They will never come under
the influence of any power. Religious officials do not have
a specific means to pass on their true message to the people.
Consequently, they asked Mr Karzai to provide them with a special
Religious officials play a significant role in preaching about
the harm and disadvantages of narcotics. Poppy cultivation has
fallen in the areas where there are religious officials who
preach to the people on this. The people always listen to the
advice of religious scholars and they have accepted that the
cultivation and trafficking of poppy is illegal and against
Islamic principles. I believe that in the campaign against narcotics,
the role of religious officials is more important than the role
of the police or counter-narcotics officials, who force the
people to stop cultivating poppy.
There has been a tremendous fall in poppy cultivation. In 2001
and 2002, a lot of drugs were produced in the country and most
farmers started to cultivate poppy. However, following the recent
government restrictions and the advice of religious scholars,
there has been a drop in poppy cultivation. In some provinces,
poppy is not being cultivated at all. I believe that most of
the drugs being transported by traffickers are from previous
years. That is why neighbouring countries are still concerned
about this issue.Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mashhad
Afghan TV channel outlines provisions for candidates campaign
Aina TV's election studios have been opened in eight [Afghan]
provinces. The publicity messages of parliamentary and provincial
candidates will be recorded and broadcast in eight provinces
during the formal campaigning period. An agreement has been
signed by Aina TV, the JEMB's media commission and the Asia
Foundation. Aina TV has set up its election studios in the provinces
of Kabul, Balkh, Jowzjan, Fariab, Sar-e Pol, Takhar, Konduz
and Samangan. All the necessary supplies have been provided
to officials in eight regional studios. Aina TV, Sheberghan
Afghan private Tolu TV expands broadcast to southern city of
The Tolu Television, a private TV channel in Afghanistan, has
expanded its transmissions to Kandahar City on Monday. Saad
Mohseni, director of the channel, said the step was part of
their programme to expand Tolu's transmission to all big cities
of the country.
He said their programmes had received warm welcome from the
people which encouraged them to expand the spare of the transmission
to other parts of the country as well. "Beside the expansion
of the coverage area, we also want to bring improvement in our
programmes in accordance with the demands of our audiences,"
Mohseni told Pajhwok Afghan News.
In an interview, he said that their programmes were now reaching
more than 13 million people across the country. He said that
apart from Kandahar, their programmes had been viewed in Kabul,
Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif while it would cover the eastern city
of Jalalabad within the next two weeks.
A statement issued from the TV station said Tolu TV also broadcast
via satellite across the region, covering Afghanistan, Iran,
Pakistan, India, Gulf States, Turkey, and Central Asia. Afghan
independent Pajhwok news agency Web site.
Turkey: Plans for Kurdish TV broadcasting to be discussed by
While an arrangement is being prepared at the Radio and Television
Supreme Council [RTUK] for local TV channels to broadcast in
Kurdish, the matter has been "appended" to the agenda
of the National Security Council [MGK] meeting scheduled for
Prime Minister's Office sources say that although the military
welcome the changes being made to the directive by RTUK acting
under instructions from Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan
they still harbour reservations. The topic, which will be taken
up as an extra item on the agenda at the MGK meeting on 23 August,
will later be discussed in detail, and the government will be
told what the opinion is. The military thinks it will not be
enough from the point of view of national security and the country's
integrity for the institutions that will conduct broadcasting
in Kurdish to give pledges. It thinks that a mechanism of stringent
checks and supervision is necessary. One official said that
news that the military was going to submit a dossier on PKK
[Kurdistan Workers' Party] terrorism to the MGK did not represent
the truth and that the agenda would cover the EU, Cyprus and
Iraq. Sabah website, Istanbul
Saudi TV debate condemns romantic messages on music TV channels
Love messages sent by Saudi youths to Arabic music video channels
are the subject of a discussion on Saudi TV at 1100 gmt on 15
August. This is one of a number of issues discussed in an episode
of the daily "Welcome" [Ya hala] programme, an entertainment
programme which is believed to have replaced the other programme
with the same English title [Hayyakum].
The programme is presented by Sa'id al-Yami and this episode
carries reports on archaeological and tourist sites in Saudi
Arabia as well as Saudi songs. It also carries a report on the
supposedly large number of Saudi youths who send cell phone
text messages to Arabic music video channels, expressing their
love for someone they admire. People, male and female, phone
in expressing their disapproval of this trend, adding that youths
should do something better with their time, like taking up sports
or expanding their cultural activities.
The moderator ends the programme by saying that youths should
be protected against wasting their time and money by making
them aware of the harms of this habit. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Lebanese parliament amends law, allowing anti-Syrian TV channel
back on air
The Lebanese parliament passed the amendment of a law today
which has allowed MTV, a private anti-Syrian TV channel [Murr
TV, operated by Lebanese politician Gabriel Murr and based in
the northern suburbs of Beirut], shut down on 4 September 2002,
an official source said. The amendment to Article 68 of the
law on the media was passed unanimously by those MPs present
and excludes the possibility of damages being paid to the station,
which was shut down following a decision by the appeal chamber
of the press court. "This amendment constitutes a kind
of amnesty and does not require the approval of the court,"
MP Butros Harb told the press. AFP news agency, Paris, in French
Lebanon: MTV reinstatement prompts call for fair media policy
Beirut: Lebanon "lacks a proper media policy and vision
that defines the work of the media sector," according to
Abdel Hadi Mahfouz, president of The National Media Council
(NMC).Mahfouz, who yesterday delivered a report prepared by
the NMC in collaboration with the Information Ministry to Speaker
Nabih Berri on proposals to enhance the efficiency of the media
sector, said: "This report can be considered the corner
stone for establishing such a media policy and vision."
He also commented on the Parliament's latest decision to allow
Murr TV to re-initiate its broadcast after three years of closure.
The Daily Star Web site, Beirut
Aina TV starts broadcast in western Afghanistan
TV has begun broadcasting in Herat city [western Afghanistan].
Aina TV is the first private television station in the country
which can be viewed in more than 70 countries. Aina TV began
its broadcasts in Herat city and its surroundings on Thursday
18 August. The Herat residents can now view it using a simple
antenna. Aina TV's engineers have been installing receivers
and transmitters for the last couple of days. Aina TV started
broadcasting in Herat city today. Residents can view our programmes
on 48.5 MHz, Canal 2 VHF from today. Aina TV can also be viewed
in other provinces: Konduz, Takhar, Samangan, Kabul, Balkh,
Jowzjan, Fariab, Sar-e Pol and Herat. Aina TV, Sheberghan
Turkey plans restrictions on TV broadcasts in minority languages
The Radio and Television High Council (RTUK) plans to require
local and national television stations which intend to broadcast
programmes in different languages and dialects to submit a written
undertaking, which will be a precondition for obtaining a licence
for airing such programmes, sources said. Those television stations,
however, will not be permitted to broadcast programmes for children
in different languages and dialects.
Saddam Hussein's daughter planning launch of TV channel from
Kuwait, 24 August: Raghad, daughter of former Iraqi president
Saddam Hussein, intends to launch from Jordan a private satellite
channel to talk about the "positive" aspects of her
father's life, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Watan said. The newspaper
quoted well-informed sources as saying the satellite will operate
for 12 hours a day and former Ba'thist media men will prepare
programmes that would "highlight" the role of Saddam.
The former Iraqi information adviser here Jawad al-Ali had denied
alleged reports that he was cooperating with Raghad, the eldest
daughter of Saddam, to set up a TV satellite channel that could
be mouthpiece of the Iraqi resistance. MENA news agency, Cairo
Pakistan warns cable networks over "filthy and indecent"
Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) has warned
all cable network operators to avoid telecasting obscene programmes.
According to a PEMRA press release issued here Wednesday [24
August] the federal law has been implemented to prohibit the
cable operators from false, immoral and misleading programmes.
"Under the same prescribed law PEMRA will revoke the licenses
of operators who telecast filthy and indecent programmes. These
programmes mislead the youth and damage our culture and society,"
the press release said.
If any viewer feels unsatisfactory from the programmes of the
cable operators he can complain to the regional office. On their
complaints the PEMRA Council of Compliant is competent authority
to take strict action against the concerned operators after
proper investigation. PEMRA is determined to promote the interests
of the viewers. Associated Press of Pakistan news agency, Islamabad
Iran’s defeated candidate hopes satellite TV channel to
launch in November
Hojjat ol-Eslam val-Moslemin Mehdi Karrubi [former Majlis Speaker
and presidential candidate] thanked the members of his election
campaign headquarters. He also said that providing an analysis
of the presidential election, and explaining the platforms and
objectives of the National Trust Party would form the two main
issues that will be discussed in the party congress that will
be held next Friday [26 August]. Karrubi also said: "We
are trying to take [presumably purchase] a few hours on the
satellite networks that are in keeping with the framework of
the Islamic Republic system and to broadcast our programmes
there until we start our own network. Some consultations have
been carried out on this issue through Behruz Afkhami."
By pointing out that probably within the next three months the
programmes of the network would be broadcast, the secretary-general
of the National Trust Party told the correspondent of ISNA:
"Probably, our first programmes will be broadcast on Id
al-Fitr [2 November]." Iran Daily website, Tehran.
Syria: Ministry allows private satellite TV stations
For the first time in the history of Syria, the Syrian Information
Ministry allowed the establishment of private satellite television
stations just two days ago. Media sources informed Al-Safir
that the ministry has contacted the largest Syrian investors
who had expressed their desire, implicitly or openly, in establishing
private television stations and requested that they prepare
the studies necessary to obtain a licence. The ministry also
contacted individuals who had obtained licencing for private
radio stations, for the same reason. Al-Safir Web site, Beirut
Watchdog condemns US military over rights of Iraqi journalist
The International Federation of Journalists [IFJ] today [25
August] backed calls from Reuters news agency for the United
States to release Iraqi journalist Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani
who has been held incommunicado in the infamous Abu Ghraib prison
outside Baghdad for two weeks. "There is an intolerable
denial of basic rights here," said Aidan White, IFJ general
secretary. "This man is being denied visitors and there
is growing concern about his welfare. The US authorities should
reveal what, if anything, he is charged with or free him immediately."
The IFJ says that Iraqi journalists, even those working for
foreign and Western news organizations, are being consistently
targeted by the US military and that there are rarely proper
inquiries into claims of abuse and maltreatment. Al-Mashhadani
is a freelance cameraman and a well-respected member of the
news team who has been working for Reuters for a year in Ramadi,
capital of Anbar region. His predecessor for Reuters in Ramadi,
Dhia Najim, was shot dead during fighting between US marines
and insurgents last year. Colleagues fear that he may be the
latest victim of a military prejudice against reporters who
respond quickly to incidents that have led to false accusations
of journalists being tipped off about insurgent attacks. International
Federation of Journalists press release, Brussels.
Sudan to set up new radio, TV stations
The general manager of the [Sudan] Radio and Television Corporation,
Dr Amin Hasan Umar, has said 46 FM and four SW radio stations
will be set up to provide coverage in all Sudanese states. In
addition to that, 26 new television stations will be set up
to fulfil media requirements in the next phase thus implementing
the peace agreement. [Passage omitted.] Al-Watan, Khartoum
Pakistan minister urges establishment of SAARC TV channel
Islamabad, 29 August: Minister for Information and Broadcasting
Sheikh Rashid Ahmad Monday [29 August] advocated for setting
up a digital Television channel of SAARC [South Asian Association
for Regional Cooperation] member countries. "We have proposed
that there should be a combined digital Television channel for
SAARC countries. Better cultural relations should also be set
up among the SAARC countries," he told PTV by telephone
from Kathmandu (Nepal). Frequent exchange of cultural programmes
can bring them closer, he added.
Stressing the need for promotion of media-interaction among
the SAARC member countries to resolve outstanding issues, he
said regional issues confronted by SAARC countries, should be
highlighted through enhanced electronic and print media cooperation
and interaction among the member states. Expressing satisfaction
over the improvement of relations with India, he added that
disputes should be resolved for durable relations. Associated
Press of Pakistan news agency, Islamabad.
Syria to license private TV channels soon
Damascus: Al-Ba'th has learnt that the Information Ministry
has finished studying the applications it received for establishing
private television channels. The ministry is expected to start
giving approval soon. This step is added to the previous steps
that allowed the establishment of private radios, which began
transmission some time ago. There is also an intention to allow
individuals to publish political newspapers. This adds to the
current expansion in [nonpolitical] newspapers and magazine,
the number of which has markedly increased in the past two years.
There is also emphasis on training to improve the performance
of the media cadres and enable them to cope with changes and
follow the development of the work of the media establishments,
particularly the General Organization of Radio and Television.
Al-Ba'th website, Damascus
Egypt: Minister says 2,000 reporters expected to cover presidential
Cairo, 31 August: The Ministry of Information will set up an
international press centre to cover Egypt's presidential elections
by local and international media and representatives of NGOs,
Information Minister Anas al-Fiqi said Wednesday. The centre
will help provide a full coverage of the presidential elections
at the Egyptian and international levels, the minister added
in statements to reporters. It will provide all communication
means to reporters from all over the world, he said.
Voting and vote counting will be broadcast live from the headquarters
of poll centres on large TV screens at the press centre. Public
figures and NGOs' representatives will be given access to the
centre to follow up the voting process and give their comments
to international media reporters at the centre. The centre will
also provide services to foreign correspondents who will come
especially to cover the elections in addition to resident reporters.
Some 2,000 reporters are expected to cover the historic event.
MENA news agency, Cairo
Afghanistan: Tolu TV divides opinion in Kabul
Kabul-based IWPR staff reporter Hafizullah Gardesh writes about
the praise, threats and controversy surrounding the emergence
of Tolu television as it approaches its first anniversary. Afghanistan's
deputy minister of broadcasting resigned last year, and now
this report names Sayed Agha Hussain Fazel Sancharaki as the
deputy minister for media affairs. The following is text of
report in English by London-based Institute for War and Peace
Reporting Web site on 31 August; ellipses as published.
Anxiety is apparent among its 200 staff, about a third of whom
are women--an unusually high figure in an Afghan enterprise.
Many of the young employees working at the computers on programme
production refuse to be interviewed, waving away the IWPR reporter.
The nervousness is hardly surprising. One young female presenter
was murdered several months ago, although the station boss believes
her slaying was unrelated to her work at Tolo. Another staff
member was forced to flee to Sweden and a third has stopped
working for the station because of threats. Even Saad Mohseni,
who heads the station which he and his brothers own, says he
has been threatened.
Tolu--which means "dawn" in Dari--began broadcasting
in October 2004 and has rapidly expanded ever since. It now
operates around the clock and recently began broadcasting via
satellite so it can viewed in more remote - and more conservative
- parts of the country as well as Kabul. It has quickly become
the most popular locally-produced television channel in the
At the heart of the controversy are programmes featuring female
singers and dancers, immodestly-clad by Afghan standards, and
Hollywood films whose scenes of passionate love are even more
problematic, although they seem tame by Western standards.
There is little neutral ground with Tolu. People either love
or hate its broadcasts, which also reach neighbouring countries
like Pakistan and conservative Iran by satellite.
Since the station started a year ago, its innovative news broadcasts
have become among the most popular programmes in Afghanistan.
The groundbreaking talk shows, which feature all-male panels,
have also attracted little criticism. But the scenes of TV station
staff of young men and women working, laughing and joking together
which are shown as fill-in spots have drawn fire from critics
who say they are un-Islamic and against Afghan tradition. Qiamuddin
Kashaf, a member of the Shura-ye-Ulama, or Islamic Scholars'
Council, acknowledges that some of the TV programmes are educational
and provide information. But others, he says, go against Islamic
law and Afghan culture and have already been criticised by his
council and by Afghanistan's Supreme Court.
"The Islamic scholars' council just wants changes to some
of the material broadcast by Tolu TV. It is not against the
television station itself," he said. He singled out for
criticism "foreign movies, and [scenes of] singing in which
women appear semi-naked, or women dancing". TV chief Mohseni
rejects the charges. He argues that most of the station's programming
is modelled on, and in some cases acquired from, other Islamic
One former mujahedin leader, Sheikh Mohammad Asef Mohseni, said
all of Afghanistan's TV broadcasters now had both good and bad
programmes, some of which could lead people to immoral ways.
"We are under attack from foreign tradition and cultures.
We must not lose our Islamic identity to these ... otherwise
we will lose our liberty," he said. Broadcasting "naked
movies" had a bad influence on young boys, encouraging
them to immorality, said Sheikh Mohseni. "Instead of feeding
our starving young people, we will drive them to the grave and
feed them to the dragon of AIDS. Then we will call it liberty."
The controversy has drawn in the government. Sayed Agha Hussain
Fazel Sancharaki, the deputy minister for media affairs, said
people misuse the word liberty in the same way as many have
misused the word jihad, or holy war. "We defend democracy
within the framework of Islam and Afghan tradition... but achieving
democracy does not take one day, one month or one year. It is
a long path with many highs and lows, so we need to be careful
and patient," he said.
"Tolu TV took advantage of the current freedom and has
done some useful things. But beside the positive things, it
has some programmes that provoke religious anger, which always
puts us [the government] under pressure."
Shekib Isaar, who also worked for Tolu, fled the country and
went to Sweden. According to Mohseni, "Shekib was a hard
worker and had lots of energy. Some of the street gangs threatened
him, and he was once attacked and wounded with a knife. Finally
he lost his morale, but maybe he will come back after a few
months." Talking about one of Tolu's best presenters, Mohseni
said, "Sayyed Sulaiman Ashna was threatened like the others,
and he has preferred not to work for some time."
The programmes have polarized people and provoked more debate
than any other television station - government-run National
TV, and the four other independents, Afghan, Aina, Ariana and
the Herat-based Saqee.
The controversy does not deter advertisers. "When we launched
Tolu TV, USAID gave us some equipment but now we are self-sufficient
and we cover all our costs through advertisements on the television
and [sister company] Arman Radio," said Mohseni.
For fans like Ahmad Jawed, "Tolu is like the salt in food....
only all the others are without salt". But the television
station also has many critics, including Kabul schoolteacher
Zarmina, who sees it as an enemy of the country's culture and
Mohammad Eshaq, aged 37 who has a television repair shop, said
some Tolu programmes, like the news and round table discussions,
are good. But others run contrary to Islam, he thinks, "Tolu
gives poison to the people, covering it with honey." Institute
for War and Peace Reporting Web site, London
Azerbaijani private TV opens office in Moldova
The Teleradio-Moldova public company signed a cooperation agreement
with the Azerbaijani [commercial] TV station Lider about two
months ago. Results were quick to come. A representative office
of this channel was opened in Chisinau today. For the time being,
only one TV crew is preparing reports for Baku. But Azerbaijani
correspondent (?Elmira Alsanova) says that in the future the
editorial team will be bigger. Moldova One TV, Chisinau, in
New Tajik TV channel mainly cultural - TV boss
The new Tajik TV channel to be launched on 3 September will
be mainly entertainment, its director said in an interview posted
on the Asia-Plus website on 1 September.
Asked about its difference from Tajik TV, the head of the Tajik
state TV second channel Safina (Ship) said: "We shall have
our own format, new show programmes and brilliant young people.
At least, we shall strive for this. Moreover, we are seriously
intended to be engaged in boosting people's culture. Moreover,
competition is necessary for the development of television.
Right in this way we shall compete with Tajik TV." The
television will broadcast from 0800 to 2000 (from Asia-Plus
news agency website, Dushanbe
Several TV, radio stations issued with broadcasting licences
Baku: The National TV and Radio Council held a session on 31
August to extend the broadcasting licence of the Kapaz TV channel
for six years. At the same time, a TV and radio broadcasting
licence was issued to the Azerbaijani TV and Radio Programmes
closed-type joint-stock company, a radio broadcasting licence
to the Burc FM limited liability company and a cable TV licence
to the Digicom limited liability company, the National TV and
Radio Council said in a press release. Turan news agency, Baku
Azerbaijani private TV opens office in Moldova
The Teleradio-Moldova public company signed a cooperation agreement
with the Azerbaijani [commercial] TV station Lider about two
months ago. Results were quick to come. A representative office
of this channel was opened in Chisinau today. For the time being,
only one TV crew is preparing reports for Baku. But Azerbaijani
correspondent (?Elmira Alsanova) says that in the future the
editorial team will be bigger. Moldova One TV, Chisinau
Azeri media expert criticizes Public TV
Text of report by Sevinc Telmanqizi in Azerbaijani newspaper
Yeni Musavat on 2 September headlined "Public TV does not
satisfy specialists either" and subheaded "Rafiq Huseynov:
This channel was dead before it was born" and "Cahangir
Mammadli: Those who came here from the Azerbaijani state channel
have failed to adapt themselves to this environment." Yeni
Musavat, Baku, 2 Sep 05 p 12.
Ariana TV starts broadcasting in northern Afghan city
Balkh Governor Atta Mohammad Nur received Mohammad Reza Hazrati,
the general director of Ariana Television Network [ATN], and
Saraj, the chief technician of ATN, today.The general director,
speaking regarding the programmes of ATN said: Balkh is the
second province after Kabul that ATN starts its broadcast in.
He said that they wanted to serve the Afghan people through
broadcasting programmes according to Islamic and Afghan values.
Bangladesh: Cable TV network policy finalized
Policy for the cable television network has been finalized,
reports UNB. It will be sent to cabinet meeting for approval
soon, said an official release on Sunday [4 September]. The
ninth cabinet committee meeting on "cable television network
policy reformulation" took the decision at the conference
room of Information Ministry on Sunday after reviewing the draft
Later, the information minister told the journalists that in
absence of a cable television network policy the trend of broadcasting
programmes contrary to audience's demand is being increased.
"The cable operators are also broadcasting their own programmes
which sometimes undermine tradition and values of the country,"
the minister said.
He said that the government would formulate the policy for upholding
culture, tradition and values of the country and for stopping
indiscriminate use of the cable television network by the operators.
Indiantelevision.com website, Mumbai, in English, Sep 05
New director appointed for Iranian TV's Channel 1
Tehran, 5 September: Morteza Mirbaqeri, the Voice and Vision's
deputy head for TV, has issued a decree appointing Alireza Barazesh
as the director of the Vision's Network 1. According to Fars's
reporter, Alireza Barazesh was in charge of the office for the
dissemination of the eminent leader's [Khamene'i's] works and
took part, as an expert on religious affairs, in the "Passenger
from India", "Help Me", "Like a Stranger",
etc. series. The ceremony for introducing Alireza Barazesh and
bidding farewell to Reza Ja'fari-Jelveh is to be held this afternoon
at the Mowlana Hall of the centre for international conferences.
Fars News Agency website, Tehran, 5 Sep 05.
Malaysia: New pay-TV platform launches
Kuala Lumpur: The waiting is finally over. Malaysians will now
have a choice of pay TV station when MiTV Corporation begins
operations from Monday [5 September], breaking the existing
monopoly of Astro Television. Bernama news agency website, Kuala
Lumpur, 5 Sep 05
Pakistan: Government to approve 37 new TV channels - minister
The government this month is extending permission to 37 more
television channels to go on air. This was stated by Federal
Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Shaykh Rashid Ahmed.
The Minister said with the passage of a Bill to this effect
in the Senate, the total number of private channels to go on
air would be 50.
Shaykh Rashid said these days the media has emerged as an important
weapon in the world - it is a life saving drug as well as a
lethal one. He also congratulated the chief of the TVOne Channel,
Tahir Khan, his wife, Seema, and family on the launch of TVOne.
Associated Press of Pakistan news agency, Islamabad, 8 Sep
Qatar: Al Jazeera airs Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 on 11
As part of its special schedule for commemorating the 9/11 anniversary,
Doha-based Al Jazeera Satellite Channel aired a trailer for
Michael Moore's movie, "Fahrenheit 9/11," saying it
will air it in full and that this will be the first time the
film is shown "on an Arab television station."
The trailer said: "One of the most controversial and thought-provoking
movies: 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' which won several world prizes, will
show for the first time on an Arab television station, exclusively
on Al-Jazeera Channel." The film will be shown at 1705
UTC on Sunday 11 September. Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, 8 Sep 05
Afghan radio, television gets new director general
At the proposal of Information, Culture and Tourism Ministry,
the president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has appointed
Gholam Hasan Hazrati [former director general of Afghan radio
and television] as the cultural attache of Afghan embassy in
Tajikistan, Najib Roshan as the general director of Radio/Television
Department and Shams al-Haq Arianpur as the editor of daily
Eslah. Radio Afghanistan, Kabul, in Pashto, 4 Sep 05
Azeri Public TV given permanent broadcasting licence
Baku: Public TV has been given a permanent licence, Tavakkul
Dadasov, acting head of the testing, programming and analysis
section of the national TV and radio council, has said. Admitting
that there are technical problems in Public TV, Dadasov also
noted current shortcomings, i.e. the lack of professionalism
in the work of company employees: "Since Public TV is a
new channel, the presence of such problems is natural. We hope
that these problems will be eliminated in Public TV in the near
future." Dadasov also said that the licences of the private
TV channels ANS, Lider and Space will expire in October. Therefore,
these TV channels will be given new broadcasting licences. The
licence of Ganca's Kapaz TV has also been renewed. news agency,
Bilik Dunyasi Baku, in Russian, 7 Sep 05.
Palestinian news agency says Israeli soldiers fire at Egyptian
Ramallah: The Egyptian Television today confirmed that one of
its crews working in the Palestinian territories came under
fire near the Governorate of Ramallah and Al-Birah, adding that
two of its reporters suffered suffocation and their vehicle
was seriously damaged.
The Egyptian Television said in a statement, a copy of which
was received by WAFA, that its crew members came under fire
by the Israeli occupation soldiers while providing coverage
of a mass demonstration in the village of Bal'in protesting
against the racial separation wall. The statement pointed out
that the soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas inside the
crew's vehicle, causing the suffocation of the crew members.
For its part, Egyptian Television Correspondent Muna Hawwash
said the attack was intentional and deliberate because the soldiers
opened fire on the car after the crew received permission to
pass through the area. Palestinian news agency Wafa website,
Gaza, 9 Sep 05
Afghan clerics request ban on "immoral" TV programmes
Hamed Karzai, president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,
had a meeting with representatives of the Afghan Ulema Council
this afternoon. Mawlawi Gholam Rabbani and Mawlawi Mojahaz spoke
on behalf of others and voiced their support for the elected
government. They also stated their demands in a statement. Part
of the statement reads:
The Afghan Ulema Council calls on all the people to vote for
those candidates who are true Muslims and are able to serve
the Muslim Afghan nation. The Afghan Ulema Council once again
called on the relevant officials to prevent the import, smuggling,
sale and use of alcoholic drinks and the broadcast of immoral
films, programmes and dances on Afghan television stations.
They should save the Afghan people, particularly the young generation,
from this serious disaster.
In turn, the Afghan president said he was pleased to meet Afghan
scholars and described religious scholars as a strong pillar
of society. He said Afghan scholars occupied an important position
and status before the government and the people He added that
the scholars' demands would be given consideration. Radio Afghanistan,
Iraq: Toll of media victims nears 100, notes watchdog
The International Federation of Journalists today condemned
the killing of a television technician in Mosul, the third media
victim in the town over the past week and a shooting that brings
to 99 the number of journalists and media staff killed in Iraq
since the invasion of the country in March 2003. Ahlam Yusuf,
an engineer working for Al-Iraqiyah television, was shot on
Wednesday [21 September] while driving with her husband, who
was also killed. Their son was seriously wounded in the attack.
Yusuf's murder follows the killing of Firas Ma'didi, 36, bureau
chief for Al-Safir and chief editor of the local daily Al-Masar,
who was killed by unidentified gunmen in the city on Tuesday.
A day earlier, the body of Hind Ismayl, a 28-year-old reporter
for Al-Safir, was found in a suburb of the town. Al-Safir, based
in Baghdad, is an independent newspaper which has criticized
insurgent attacks against Iraqi civilians, calling them terrorist
Al-Iraqiyah has been increasingly targeted because of its ties
to the US-supported Iraqi government. Insurgents in Mosul have
killed at least three other employees of the station and its
affiliates in 2005, and Al-Iraqiyah offices have repeatedly
come under mortar attack.
Last Monday [19 September] Fakhir Haydar, who had worked for
over two years for the New York Times, was found dead three
km south-west of Basra with his hands bound and a single bullet
wound to the head.
"These are clearly targeted killings which aim to censor
local Iraqi journalists from reporting on democratic change
in Iraq," said White. "The international community
must intervene now to support the Iraqi media." International
Federation of Journalists press release
Former Iranian Speaker launching Saba satellite TV
Tehran: Former Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karrubi would not be prevented
by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) from establishing
his private satellite network named 'Saba', a morning daily
reported here Saturday [10 September].
'Iran Daily' quoted Behruz Afkhami, a well-known film maker
and also former MP, as saying that after becoming operational,
the Saba network "will be similar to BBC, CNN and other
television news networks". Afkhami who is also responsible
for launching the network noted that "certain political
currents" were worried about its setting up by Karrubi
more than being "concerned about satellite televisions
run by banned opposition groups that are based overseas",
the English-language daily said. Asked whether the IRIB would
help Karrubi launch Saba, Afkhami said: "It depends on
IRIB chief (Ezzatollah Zarghami) and his policies."
The paper quoted Afkhami as saying IRIB can issue permits for
private television networks. IRNA website, Tehran, 10 Sep 05
Afghan journalists complain about ill-treatment by security
The head of the Afghan Voice Agency [AVA] told a news conference
at the Setara Hotel in Kabul today that the government should
take proper measures to guarantee the safety of journalists
and to look into cases of violence against them.
The news conference was held by the Afghan Voice Agency. [Head
of AVA] Mr Mazari called on the Information and Culture Ministry,
the government and the international community to pay attention
to journalists' problems. He spoke about the incident of 8 September
during which two journalists of the Afghan Voice Agency were
detained and beaten up by the officials of the National Security
Directorate in District No 10 [Kabul city]. He added that they
would prosecute those involved in the incident.
He said journalists would not be able to fulfil their duties
properly and inform the people of Afghanistan and the world
about the procedures and programmes for the parliamentary elections
if the government did not take proper measures to prevent such
According to the official, a number of people want to take advantage
of their posts and make plots against government departments
so they can seek asylum in European countries. Addressing the
news conference, Rahimollah Samandar, head of the independent
union of Afghan journalists, said the government was putting
pressure on the media and journalists to stop them from reporting
on the parliamentary elections independently and impartially.
Tolo TV, Kabul, 10 Sep 05.
Qatar: Al-Jazeera launches children's channel
The Al-Jazeera network has launched an Arabic-language children's
channel. The channel was inaugurated on Friday [9 September]
in the presence of Shaykha Mozah Bint-Nasir al-Misnad, wife
of the emir of Qatar and the key force behind the venture, as
well as 22 children representing the different Arab states.
Sheikha Mozah said the channel was a "decision made to
meet the needs of our children". "I hope this channel
is a bridge for communication between Arab children and children
around the world," she added. Al-Jazeera Children's Channel
(JCC) is the first Arabic-language channel dedicated to children
and will produce 40 per cent of its own programmes, a ratio
touted as being one of the highest of any children's channel
"Through the concept of 'Edutainment', JCC opens up avenues
for Arab children to learn about different environments and
cultures," the channel's statement said. "It also
helps them develop self-esteem, respect their traditions and
values, appreciate people around them and develop a passion
for learning," he added.
Based in the Qatari capital Doha with a staff of around 235,
JCC will feature a range of programmes for children aged between
three and 15. The channel will air regular debates covering
issues facing Arab children as well as productions on health,
science and current affairs.
"In view of the existing state of television, where children
are exposed to violent and inappropriate material on a daily
basis, HH Shaykha Mozah made a momentous decision to establish
Al-Jazeera Children's Channel," said Shaykh Hamad Bin-Thamir
Al Thani, chairman of the board of Al-Jazeera Group. But while
the emphasis of the channel is largely on education, its management
stresses that it has not forgotten that fun and games are what
really make children tick.
The Al-Jazeera Children's Channel is hoping to build on the
success of the Al-Jazeera brand, which already includes the
Arabic news station and two Al-Jazeera sports channels. Al-Jazeera
will be launching a global English-language news channel Al-Jazeera
International next year, as well as an Arabic-language documentary
"Al-Jazeera is no longer just a news channel. Al-Jazeera
is now a brand name and it is a brand name which is diversifying
its activities," Bouneb said.
[A report on the Gulf Times of Doha website on 10 September
added that the channel was a joint venture between Al-Jazeera
and the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community
Development, which is headed by Shaykha Mozah.] Aljazeera.net
Web site, 10 Sep 05.
Media space in Bosnia-Hercegovina overcrowded
[Presenter] The issue of the public broadcasting system is the
reason for our research of the media space in Bosnia-Hercegovina,
how many radio and TV stations we have, how do they survive
and what is the competition like. You will hear information
that says that almost every municipality in this country has
its radio or TV station. We are overdoing it, as usual, in comparison
with other countries.
[Reporter] Before the Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia-Hercegovina
started to work, we could hear or see over 300 radio and TV
stations. At this moment, there are over 140 radio and 39 TV
stations. The public broadcasting system is not included in
this number. Most of the stations are commercial or are undergoing
privatisation. [Passage omitted]
[Dunja Mijatovic, Communications Regulatory Agency] In my opinion,
this is still a very large number, considering the economic
situation. However, if we compare ourselves with our neighbours,
not to mention the European Union, we are in a much better situation.
For example, Serbia and Macedonia are in a state of chaos, which
is even worse than we had before 1998. Our regulation system
is being used as a model. [Passage omitted]
[Adnan Osmanagic, director of Sarajevo-based Old Town Radio]
We do not work in a favourable environment, knowing the situation
in the country. The marketing cake is too modest for such a
great number of media houses in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Independent
TV Hayat, Sarajevo, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Sep 05
Egypt: African Union delegation to discuss pan-African TV channel
A round of talks between the Egyptian Information Ministry,
the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) and a delegation
from the African Union [AU], under Desmond Orejako, the AU legal
adviser in charge of discussing a pan-African radio and television
project, is to kick off on Monday [18 September]. The delegation
also comprises Communications Expert Assan BA and AU resource-person
for the project Alfred Opudo.
During the Sirte Summit, Egypt presented to the AU a proposal
to host the terrestrial broadcasting centre of the channel.
It also expressed readiness to provide technical facilities
for the centre to function properly and to make use of its satellite
capabilities. Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade had proposed
to establish the channel. MENA news agency, Cairo, 18 Sep 05
Poll reportedly finds Al-Sharqiyah TV Iraqis' preferred local
Iraqi Al-Sharqiyah TV at 1000 gmt on 19 September, before the
start of its scheduled newscast, aired the following self-promotional
report against the background of previously-aired programmes
and news stories: "The first remains the first. Al-Sharqiyah
is always at the forefront. The latest opinion poll shows that
Al-Sharqiyah ranks first when compared with local channels;
its approval rating is 78.43 per cent. Iraqis have ranked it
fourth when compared with other Arab channels." Al-Sharqiyah,
Baghdad, 19 Sep 05
Afghanistan: Chief of state television promises improvements
Addressing staff of the Afghan Radio and Television
Department at a meeting which took place in the hall of the
Afghan [state] TV building today, the chief of Afghan Radio
and Television, Najib Roshan, spoke about broadcasting, technical
improvements, personnel training and the establishment of a
training centre for employees of Radio and Television Afghanistan.
He also urged his staff to make concerted efforts [to improve
the quality of their broadcasts]. He said that unlike in the
past, friendly countries were not eager to provide contributions
to Afghan Radio and Television. He said that he would embark
upon some concrete programmes to channel the aid provided from
abroad and bring about creative reforms in broadcasts.
He highlighted the importance of modern journalism and said:
With the help of UNICEF, we have offered 12 scholarships to
our employees to attend a training programme in Kuala Lumpur.
He said that three orchestras comprising Afghan artists will
be formed and the aim is to hold unique concerts on the first
anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic Republic of
Afghanistan, adding that some of the studios will also be named
after a number of deceased artists. Television Afghanistan,
Kabul, 20 Sep 05
Iraqi TV reports two Iraqi press journalists killed in Mosul
An Iraqi police source has announced that two Iraqi journalists
were killed in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. The source,
who preferred to remain anonymous, said Firas al-Ma'didi, who
was employed as a journalist for the Al-Safir newspaper based
in Baghdad, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in front of his
home in the Al-Nur neighbourhood, in the centre of the city.
A source at the Al-Safir newspaper said Hind Isma'il, who worked
for the newspaper, was also killed Monday [19 September] in
the city of Mosul, and the motive remains unknown. Al-Sharqiyah,
Baghdad, 21 Sep 05
Al-Arabiya TV demands release of Iraq correspondent said held
An official spokesman for the US army in Iraq has told Al-Arabiya
that its correspondent Majid Hamid is currently being detained
in Al-Anbar prison, and that he was arrested last Saturday [17
September]. While expressing surprise at the delay in the announcement
that its correspondent is being detained by the US forces, without
pressing any charges against him, Al-Arabiya calls for the release
of colleague Hamid immediately. Al-Arabiya TV, Dubai, 21 Sep
Egypt closes Hezbollah TV office over programme critical of
As a result of the broadcast of an episode of the "What
Next?" programme hosted by Amr Nassif, Egyptian authorities
issued a decision ordering the suspension of Al-Manar channel's
broadcast and closing down its offices in Cairo. The programme
criticized the Egyptian regime and President Husni Mubarak in
the aftermath of presidential election victory.
The Egyptian Ministry of Information requested that the NileSat
company for satellite services suspend the broadcast of the
episode of "What Next?", in which Egyptian human rights
activist Nijad al-Bar'i and journalists Abd-al-Azim al-Mughrabi
and Muhammad Izz-al-Din took part, because of what the ministry
described as a violation, defamation and slander against the
Egyptian president. Al-Manar made its final live transmission
from Cairo within the context of its coverage of the redeployment
of Egyptian forces at the Rafah border crossing following the
withdrawal of the occupation [Israeli] forces from the Gaza
Mahmud Bakri, Al-Manar's bureau chief in Cairo, has said that
"negotiations are currently under way between Al-Manar
officials from its base in Beirut and the Egyptian media leadership
figures, to arrive at a formula to ensure the continuation of
the channel's operation in Egypt". The head of the station's
public relations division ask for "postponing any comment
on the matter for two days until the picture becomes clearer".
Farhat [reference unclear] said that "what took place means
the suspension of the broadcast of the mentioned episode and
will naturally not reach [the stage] of suspending the station's
transmission completely". Al-Safir Web site
Iraq: President has meeting with newspaper and television heads
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has stressed keenness to protect
the independent national media in Iraq and to support the intellectual
pluralism in the framework of a democratic and federal Iraq
that guarantees human rights.
While receiving the chief editors of newspapers and directors
of television stations in the first meeting of its kind in Iraq,
the Iraqi president said that he, personally, the Presidency
Council, and the Judicial Council are keen on protecting the
freedom of the Iraqi media, in addition to protecting the freedom
and the dignity of the workers in this field. President Talabani
welcomed the proposal made by Ahmad Abd-al-Majid, chief editor
of the Iraqi edition of Al-Zaman newspaper, to establish a media
council that would include the chief editors of newspapers and
directors of national media institutions. The duty of this council
will be looking into the controversial issues and setting the
principles of a national media code of honour.
Ala al-Dahhan, Al-Sharqiyah television director-general of programmes,
suggested enhancing the moral and legal outlines that would
guarantee the freedom of the national independent media being
the fruit of democracy in Iraq. Participating in the meeting,
which was characterized by frankness and friendliness and the
details of which will be broadcast by Al-Sharqiyah Television
today, are the chiefs of the audiovisual and print media. Al-Sharqiyah,
Baghdad, 23 Sep 05
Pakistan Broadcasters Association established
Karachi: Broadcasters in Pakistan on Friday [23 September] announced
the establishment of the Pakistan Broadcasters Association,
a representative body comprising both television and radio broadcasters
in Pakistan, at a meeting in Karachi. Associated Press of Pakistan
news agency, Islamabad, 23 Sep 05
Saudi Arabia to consider Turkish call to bar Kurdish Roj TV
Ankara: On Thursday [22 September], Denmark rejected a request
to revoke the broadcasting rights of Roj TV, saying the network
does not breach Danish laws. Ankara wants to have Roj TV, which
currently broadcasts on Arabsat, taken off the air. Turkey has
complained that the station, which broadcasts into Turkey, carried
propaganda for the PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party] and also airs
reports on Turkish troop movements in the south-east of the
country, hindering anti-terrorist operations. The Saudi Arabian
authorities are to investigate the request, as Roj TV has started
using Arabsat to expand its broadcast coverage into the Middle
East. NTV Online website, Istanbul, 23 Sep 05
Al-Jazeera to appeal against Spanish jail sentence for its reporter
Pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera has said it will appeal
after a Spanish judge sentenced its correspondent Taysir Alluni
to seven years in prison for collaborating with Al-Qa'idah.
"The verdict is very disappointing and we consider it unfair
and we will contact immediately the legal defence team to study
the possibilities of appealing it," Al-Jazeera general
manager Waddah Khanfar said on Monday [26 September]. The channel
said it was an unjust sentence and a dangerous and unprecedented
action in the history of journalism. It also called on the Spanish
authorities to release Alluni on bail, due to his poor health.
Alluni, who had insisted on his innocence throughout Europe's
biggest Al-Qa'idah trial, interviewed the group's leader Usamah
Bin Ladin in Afghanistan weeks after the 11 September 2001 attacks
in the United States. Accused of acting as a financial courier
to the group while in Afghanistan, Alluni, who had faced a maximum
nine-year term, said in testimony he was only doing his job
as a journalist.
First arrested in September 2003, Alluni was later released
on bail on health grounds - he suffers from a weak heart and
back problems - only to be arrested again and jailed in Madrid
in November 2004.He was released to house arrest in March, but
taken back into custody on 16 September. Aljazeera.net website,
26 Sep 05
Ariana TV begins broadcasting in west Afghanistan
Ariana Television aired its programmes in Herat Province last
night, 37 days after it was launched. According to one of the
TV station's local officials, the main goal of the TV station
is to publicize authentic Afghan culture, which is very popular
among the people. After Kabul, Kandahar, Mazar-e Sharif [Balkh]
and Jalalabad [Nangarhar] Provinces, Herat is the fifth province
in which the TV station has begun broadcasting. The main difference
between Ariana and other TV stations is that this TV does not
repeat its programmes. Herat News Centre, Herat 26 Sep 05
Yemeni journalists protest jailing of Al-Jazeera reporter by
Sanaa: The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) was shocked by
the unfair verdict passed by the Spanish Judiciary against Taysir
Alluni correspondent of the Doha-based Al-Jazeera channel, a
denunciation statement said Monday [26 September] afternoon.
"The YJS demands that Alluni's conviction be reconsidered,"
the statement says. "It [the conviction] contradicts with
the international moral and legal principles. The syndicates
demands the release of colleague Taysir Alluni, with whom we
express our total solidarity."
Alluni, who interviewed Usamah Bin-Ladin in Afghanistan weeks
after the 11 September attacks in the United States said he
was only doing his job as a journalist, but the prosecution
alleged he was in league with Al-Qaidah and its leader and accused
of acting as a financial courier to the group while in Afghanistan.
[Passage omitted on other terrorist suspects in trial]
The YJS appeals to its members and local and international NGOs
to show solidarity with Alluni. In the same statement, YJS condemned
the assassination attempt plotted against Lebanese journalist
Mi Shidyak of the LBC channel. Yemen Observer website, Sanaa,
26 Sep 05
Former Iranian Speaker cited on plans for satellite TV station
Fars reports that Mehdi Karrubi, who was speaking on Saturday
[24 September] at the sixth general assembly of the Islamic
Azad University's student groups said in relation with the establishment
of the National Trust Party and the satellite television channel:
We have received the approval in principle on the National Trust
Party, and its articles of association and manifesto have also
been compiled and should be approved so that the license for
the party will be issued. Meanwhile, the party's representatives
are working in all the provinces so that the party's branches
will be activated when the license is issued. Karrubi went on
to add: We have also received the license for the party's newspaper
and we are in contact with the chief editors of newspapers and
publications so that they can cooperate with us. We are also
following up the activities for setting up the television station.
E'temad website, Tehran
Lebanese TV debate on attempted assassination of presenter
The attempted assassination of the Lebanese news presenter Mayy
Shidyaq was the topic of Lebanese LBC Sat TV's 145-minute live
talk show "People's Talk" broadcast at 1835 gmt on
26 September. Guests of the programme were Marwan Hamadah, minister
of telecommunications, via satellite link from his residence
in Beirut; Ilyas al-Murr, deputy prime minister and defence
minister, on the phone from Zurich; MP Dr Farid al-Khazin, member
of the Reform and Change Bloc, in the studio; Brig-Gen Ilyas
Hanna, strategic expert, in the studio; Sean McCormack, US State
Department spokesman, via satellite link from Washington; and
Aidan White, secretary-general of the International Federation
of Journalists, on the phone from Brussels. The programme was
moderated by Marcel Ghanim.
Asked why Mayy Shidyaq was targeted, Hamadah says: "I would
like to stress that by targeting Mayy, everything that has been
achieved in Lebanon recently has been targeted. In other words,
everything that has been achieved since the martyrdom of martyr
leader Rafiq al-Hariri, including the withdrawal of Syrian troops,
parliamentary elections, the formation of a broad-based government,
as well as the progress being made in the Mehlis report, which
has taken with it four major figures of the former era of Lebanese-Syrian
intelligence. Mayy represented Lebanon's joy, smile, freedom,
and free and balanced speech on every level and with everyone
He continues: "Through Mayy, independence, freedom, free
decision-making, an elected government, a free parliament, an
open media, and Lebanon's redemption of its integrity after
many years of custodianship, were targeted." LBC Sat TV,
Bahrain: Noorsat predicts doubling of satellite TV channels
to Middle East
Noorsat, headquartered in Bahrain, the newest entrant to the
Middle East satellite communications sector, predicts the number
of television channels broadcasting to the Middle East region
will double in the next five years. The bullish outlook follows
Noorsat's agreement to use the capacity of two Eutelsat satellites
which will be practically co-located at the Middle Eastern hotspots
of 7 degrees west and 26 degrees east.
A key part of the Noorsat strategy is to create an Arabic and
ethnic hotspot for Europe by leasing capacity on the Eutelsat
AB2 craft at 8 degrees west. AB2 is a very powerful satellite
that will allow reception of transmitted television programmes
in all of Europe using very small dishes. Noorsat believes that
this will become the satellite position of choice to provide
indigenous content to the large Arab and ethnic communities
in Europe. Two state-of-the-art uplink facilities have been
established in Bahrain and Greece to ensure service integrity
and quality. More uplink facilities will be established in other
Arab countries to meet customer demand. The Noorsat platform
is currently being licensed as a satellite operator in Saudi
Arabia. Arab News website, Jedda
Iraq/USA: Watchdog condemns "targeting" of Iraqi journalists
The International Federation of Journalists today expressed
concern over the targeting of Iraqi journalists by military
authorities and called on United States forces to release a
leading television reporter detained without explanation two
Majid Hamid, a reporter for the Al-Arabiya news channel, is
one of a number of journalists to be detained without charge
or explanation from the authorities. In recent months several
Iraqi reporters working for international news organizations
have been held for lengthy periods without being charged.
"We are very concerned that there is no word about why
he has been held in what appears to be a premeditated action
against him," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary.
"This man is acknowledged as a hard-working professional
whose work has taken him into some of Iraq's most dangerous
places from where he has delivered much ground-breaking journalism."
The IFJ says that Iraqi journalists whose energy and resourcefulness
is producing some of the most telling reporting from the region
are also among those most likely to face harassment from the
"There have been a number of cases of journalists being
targeted simply because they get to the scene of an incident
quickly. In the eyes of the army this is suspicious, but in
effect they are penalized for doing their job too well,"
Al-Arabiya say that Hamid has been an eye-witness to combat
incidents between US forces and armed groups in Fallujah, Al-Qa'im,
Ramadi, Haditha, Rawa and most recently Tall Afar, where he
was the only broadcast reporter on the spot in a major confrontation.
His reports have received global coverage.
Last week, freelance cameraman Samir Muhammad Nur working for
Reuters, who was arrested by Iraqi troops at his home in the
northern town of Tall Afar four months ago, was found by a secret
tribunal to be "an imperative threat to the coalition forces
and the security of Iraq". At least four other journalists
working for international media are being held without charge
by the US military in Iraq.
"These detentions, which appear to have been calculated
actions, make no sense at all," said White. "There
should be an official explanation as to the whereabouts of all
our colleagues and concrete reasons for their arrests. If not,
we can only assume that once again Iraqi journalists brave enough
to try to report freely are being victimized." International
Federation of Journalists press release, Brussels
Pakistan: New Urdu channel TV One launched on AsiaSat 3S
Satellite operator Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company
(AsiaSat) and Airwaves Media of Pakistan have signed a lease
agreement for C-band capacity on AsiaSat 3S [105.5 degrees east]
for digital free-to-air distribution of a new Urdu television
channel, TV One, to Pakistan and over 50 countries and regions
in the Asia Pacific. TV One has commenced broadcasting on AsiaSat
3S, offering a mix of programming content including news and
current affairs, entertainment, drama and music. Indiantelevision.com
Hezbollah Al-Manar TV denies Egypt suspends broadcasts, closes
The management of Al-Manar television has issued the following:
On 21 September, 2005, Beirut Al-Safir published a report entitled
"Cairo threatens Al-Manar's broadcast" indicating
that Egyptian authorities have issued a decision ordaining the
suspension of Al-Manar channel's broadcasts and the closure
of its offices in Cairo.
Within this context, Al-Manar is interested in clarifying the
It is not true that the Egyptian authorities have shut down
the offices of Al-Manar in Cairo and issued a decision ordaining
the suspension of Al-Manar's broadcasts. The matter does not
exceed the framework of an administrative procedure against
the Egyptian company that provides broadcast services to Al-Manar.
Following contacts conducted by the station with the concerned
parties, it became evident that this matter is within a technical
context and has no other dimensions related to suspending the
channel's transmission on NileSat as transmission on this satellite
has not been suspended and is uninterrupted. Al-Safir website,
West Bank and Gaza: Islamic Jihad radio in Gaza Strip goes silent
Islamic Jihad's only radio station in the Gaza Strip went off
the air yesterday fearing its studios would be targeted by Israel.
Salih al-Masri, director of Al-Quds Radio (102.7 [MHz] FM),
said the decision to suspend the broadcasts followed Israeli
charges that the station was inciting violence. He claimed that
Palestinian journalists and media outlets were being targeted
by Israel "as part of its comprehensive aggression"
on the Palestinians. "Palestinian journalists are being
targeted because they are exposing Israel's lies," he said.
"[Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon's government is practising
terror by killing the elderly and children and destroying various
Earlier in the day several media organizations evacuated their
staff from a building in downtown Gaza City following rumours
that Israeli helicopters were about to fire missiles at the
studios, located in the same compound. More than a year ago
Israeli helicopters fired a number of missiles toward the Hamas-run
Al-Jil press office in the same building.
It was not clear when, if at all, the Islamic Jihad radio station
would resume its broadcasts. Earlier this week the station interviewed
many Islamic Jihad supporters in the Gaza Strip who called for
stepping up the armed struggle against Israel. The interviews
were conducted in the aftermath of the killing by the IDF of
Muhammad Shaykh Khalil, commander of the armed wing of Islamic
Afghan paper suggests TV channel targeted due to criticism of
After Tolo TV broadcast a report about the inefficiency of the
chief justice [Mawlawi Fazl Hadi Shinwari] and corruption in
the judicial system, the Supreme Court authorities appeared
on a news bulletin broadcast by the same TV channel. They seemed
to be answering the questions raised by Tolo TV. I think the
answers from the authorities not only failed to satisfy the
audience but also revealed some other shortcomings of the Supreme
Court as well.
After all this, councils of religious scholars from various
provinces started propaganda against Tolo. The councils of religious
scholars from Paktia and Herat claimed that Tolo programmes
were un-Islamic and called for the TV channel to be closed down.
We do not want to discuss whether or not Tolo broadcasts really
are against the basic tenets of our faith and culture, but we
should look at why these councils are only targeting Tolo. If
one takes a look at the broadcasts of other TV channels, it
is clear that all these TV stations, including Tolo, broadcast
almost the same kind of programmes. Kabul Weekly in Dari
Sudan: Government committed to upholding press freedom
Khartoum, 29 September: Vice-President Ali Uthman Muhammad Taha
has affirmed the state's commitment to safeguard the rights
and freedoms of the press.
Addressing celebrations on the occasion of the inauguration
of the Journalists House at Mugran area in Khartoum Thursday
[29 September], Taha announced a partnership between the state
and the press to upgrade the journalism profession and supporting
internal and external training projects for journalists as well
as improving their work environment. He called on the journalists
to work to achieve a satisfactory equation between rights and
duties. Taha urged the press to stick to the prin Jihad in the
southern Gaza Strip. The Jerusalem Post Web site
Egyptian minister: Parties to have equal TV coverage, moots
new election channel
Cairo, 29 September: Anas al-Fiqi, the [Egyptian] information
minister has stressed that all political parties will have the
right to media coverage of their annual conferences in [TV]
news bulletins and news programmes, in a similar way to the
[ruling] National Democratic Party. In a statement made today,
Al-Fiqi indicated that the media policies committee had been
authorized to put forward a concept of the style of coverage
that should be objective and free from exaggeration. He also
stressed that certain declared standards should be available
to achieve equality between the parties within the framework
of the new method established by the media during the presidential
Regarding coverage of parliamentary elections in the news and
the relevant media policy, Al-Fiqi asserted that a committee
had been formed earlier to put together the standards of coverage
of presidential elections, noting that this committee would
continue working for the parliamentary elections. The information
minister added that in view of the large number of candidates
in the elections of the People's Assembly, a public [TV] channel
could be established during the election campaign especially
for this reason, and that this would allow equal time for the
parties to show their election platforms. He added that the
candidates would also have time to show their platforms on local
Al-Fiqi explained that it had been decided to allow a number
of representatives of NGOs concerned with monitoring the process
of parliamentary elections, to join the monitoring and follow-up
committee to recognize the efforts exerted and level of adherence
to neutrality, equality and objectiveness. At the end of his
statements, the minister asserted that the test of neutrality
and objectiveness in the coming parliamentary elections would
be more difficult than it was in the presidential elections
because of the extension of the competition and the increase
in the number of candidates, which would make the work of the
monitoring and follow-up committee very important. MENA news
agency website, Cairo ciples of objectivity, impartiality and
accuracy. Suna news agency website, Khartoum
Indonesia/USA: News Corp to buy into Indonesian TV network
News Corp's Hong Kong-based satellite and cable operator Star
TV will take a 20 per cent stake in the Indonesian network ANTV,
the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Daily News reported on 30 September.
News Corp and ANTV both declined to release financial details
about the agreement, saying only that it was a "multimillion
The deal will give News Corp access to Indonesia's 220 million-strong
population and "could reflect the company's strategic shift
away from China, which up until recently has been the main focus
of Star's Asian expansion," the report added.
Star will control 20 per cent of the company, the maximum a
foreign firm can hold in local media companies according to
Indonesian law, and Indonesian shareholders will hold the remaining
80 per cent stake. ANTV was launched on 1 January 1993 as a
local television station in Lampung city in South Sumatra province.
Later that same month the government licensed ANTV for nationwide
broadcasting and the firm moved its headquarters to Jakarta,
the Mainichi Daily News report recalled. It said Indonesia now
had 11 TV national stations, and many provincial broadcasters.
Mainichi Daily News website, Tokyo
Paper raps Sudanese national TV
The Sudanese national television gives substantive evidence
every day that it operates its programmes from another planet
several light years away from our peace hungry mother earth.
The national TV seems unaware of the CPA [Comprehensive Peace
Agreement] and the Government of National Unity [GNU].
Our national TV still lives in the recent past when the civil
war in the Sudan was projected as between Islam and the infidels
of southern Sudan.
With the CPA and formation of GNU, Sudanese people, in both
north and south, have taken it for granted that such programmes
would be the first to be swept under the carpet of disinformation
and religious chauvinism. Sadly enough, the opposite is what
is being cherished and implemented by our national TV.
The national TV by running "Fi Sahat al Fida" programme
is covertly but suggestively telling the northern masses that
the very killers of their children are now in the Republican
Palace and in every ministry in Islam is not yet hoisted in
the battlefields of sacrifice in southern Sudan.
The overarching national characteristics of our TV are invisible
under the reign of the Government of National Unity. The national
TV still runs its programmes and political panels under the
umbrella of the National Salvation Revolution, and takes Sudan
as being manned and masterminded by the "victorious"
NCP leadership. It should stop disseminating hatred, intolerance,
bigotry or anything suggestive of that to the Sudanese people.
Please, our national TV, wash your mouth and watch your steps.
Khartoum Monitor Web site, Khartoum
Afghan media urged to broadcast religious programmes during
In accordance with the instructions of President Hamed Karzai,
a commission has been set up on the occasion of the holy month
of Ramadan. The commission is made up of Endowment and Islamic
Affairs Minister Nematollah Shahrani, Acting Interior Minister
Engineer Zarar Ahmad Moqbel and Governor of Kabul Province Haji
Din Mohammad. The commission, which met under the chairmanship
of Chief Justice Mawlawi Fazl Hadi Shinwari, made the following
1. The national radio and television to broadcast recitation
of the 30 chapters of the holy Koran during the holy month of
Ramadan. 2. Religious sermons on virtues of the holy month of
Ramadan to be publicized through the mass media and by the mosque
preachers and scholars. 3. The national and private television
channels to strictly refrain from broadcasting immoral films
and vulgar programmes. 4. All restaurants to stay closed during
day time. 5. Koran recitation programmes to be broadcast through
the mass media before Iftar [fast-breaking time]. 6. People
who do not fast because of a religious excuse should avoid eating
in the public. 7. The times of Sahar and Iftar [start and end
of fasting day] to be announced through radio and television
with the call for prayers. 8. Religious issues to be discussed
and preached after the prayers in every mosque. 9. The police
to ensure the security of the worshipers and mosques. 10. Those
who break their fast without any justifiable excuse should be
punished in accordance with the law.
The security officials to take note of the above points and
take the necessary actions to implement them. Television Afghanistan,
Al-Arabiya TV calls for release of correspondent held by US
forces in Iraq
Al-Arabiya Channel has issued a statement calling for the release
of its correspondent Majid Hamid, who has been detained by the
US forces for more than three weeks. Al-Arabiya denounced the
position taken by the US authorities, which have so far not
issued an official statement clarifying the reason for the arrest
of colleague Majid and have not allowed him to get a legal representative.
Al-Arabiya held the US authorities responsible for the security
and safety of its employees in Iraq. Al-Arabiya TV, Dubai
Japan/Qatar: Internet tycoon to bring Al-Jazeera TV to Japan
Flamboyant Japanese internet tycoon turned politician Takafumi
Horie has said he will bring Arab news broadcaster Al-Jazeera
to Japan, hoping to provide a greater variety of views to the
The 32-year-old entrepreneur on Monday [3 October] said his
firm, Livedoor, which offers a portal site much like Yahoo!
along with other internet services, has signed a deal with Qatar-based
Al-Jazeera to distribute its news online in Japanese. Horie,
an unsuccessful candidate in last month's parliamentary election,
wrote on his blog that he was trying to diversify Livedoor's
"An advantage of internet-based news distribution is its
ability to let users view and search a variety of news stories,"
Horie said. "In particular, international news may be influenced
by the views of the countries in which the media are based.
In this way, I believe distribution of Al-Jazeera reports is
significant," he said. Horie ran for parliament backing
the agenda of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, one of US President
George Bush's closest allies. The Bush administration has often
accused Al-Jazeera of bias.
Al-Jazeera is well-respected in the Arab world but has frequently
been accused of bias by the region's governments over its coverage.
Its offices in Baghdad and several other Arab countries have
also been shut down.
Al-Jazeera gained prominence with exclusive coverage of the
US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, under its motto, "the
opinion and the counter opinion". It also had its offices
bombarded in Kabul and Baghdad, with fatalities in both attacks.
In Baghdad a prominent correspondent, Tariq Ayub, was killed
during the US-led invasion. Aljazeera.net Web site, Doha
PTV to take lead in launching DTH service
Islamabad, 3 October: Minister for Information and Broadcasting
Shaykh Rashid Ahmed on Monday [3 October] said that Pakistan
Television would take lead in launching Direct-to-Home (DTH)
service. Addressing a meeting at PTV headquarters here to review
the progress on DTH project, Shaykh Rashid Ahmed said the work
on the project needs to be completed at a pace so that it is
available to the viewers at the earliest.
Secretary Information and Chairman PTV Shahid Rafi, Managing
Director PTV Arshad Khan, Managing Director PTV Foundation Ahtar
Wiqar Azeem and senior officers attended the meeting.
MD PTV Foundation gave detailed briefing about the project and
said at initial stage a bouquet of 50 channels would be offered
in DTH service. The size of the bouquet would be increased to
300 channels in due course, he added.
The meeting took various decisions and set time limit for various
exercises to be carried out for finalisation of the project.
The meeting also reviewed the overall progress of PTV. Associated
Press of Pakistan news agency, Islamabad
Afghan daily urges year-round observation of Ramadan broadcast
The chapter of perseverance against hardships and overcoming
your desires has commenced. In this holy month of blessing and
human humility before the only God, every Muslim has the chance
to review his deeds and to measure his candour, piety and virtue
and then wait for his prayers to be answered and the blessing
of the Creator, the merciful Creator whose doors of mercy and
pardon are open now more than at any other time. The holy month
of Ramadan requires of us self-control. It suggests that we
should put ourselves in a condition of total virtue and avoid
all manifestations of corruption, lust and other evildoings
which are prohibited.
Let us now see what effect this holy month will have on the
overall functioning of our media, especially the visual media.
Some of the visual media, which did not refrain from broadcasting
every kind of vulgar and corrupt phenomenon, calling it music
and film, now have no choice other than to at least superficially
observe some of these strictures and wait until this holy month
ends before they can once again allow corruption and vulgarity
Therefore, and in view of the need to fight all imported manifestations
of corruption and vulgarity, which lead astray the young generation
- and one of the goals of the month of Ramadan is to fight these
manifestations - and in view of the danger of corruption and
vulgarity, which threatens the national identity of society,
we must pay attention and find out why the visual media is allowing
the promotion of indecent and disgraceful phenomena. It seems
that it is not enough to only refrain from broadcasting these
vulgar and corrupt films and music during the holy month of
The media should review their activities in this sphere and
provide those eager for music and films with quality programmes,
which conform to our cultural and national values, so that our
young people are not led astray by watching them. We hope that
those in charge of the media will pay attention to the growing
menace of these music videos and films, which go against our
moral values and our familial and social traditions. They must
conscientiously and responsibly provide the audience with proper
entertainment programmes and not blindly follow the Western
media in presenting disgusting and lustful phenomena, which
have no message other than to encourage sexual promiscuity and
no objective other than to lead astray the young generation.
We profoundly believe that an expert and responsible observation
of this need at the beginning of the month of Ramadan, with
the aim of following these values throughout the year, will
in no way damage our national interests, will not damage the
popularity of the media and will also satisfy their audience.
Arman-e Melli, Kabul
Iraq: Talabani voices commitment to media freedom
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has reiterated his commitment
to the freedom of the independent Iraqi media in Iraq and his
rejection of any pressure exerted on the media to turn it into
a tool in the hands of any political side. The president's statements
came during his meeting with Sa'd al-Bazzaz, head of the Independent
Iraqi Media Group, who presented the difficulties facing the
independent Iraqi media and stressed the Iraqi journalists'
adherence to their position in conveying the desires of the
people and refusing to act as a mouthpiece for any political
entity that seeks to control the will and desires of the people.
Iraqis divided over satellite channels
Foreign satellite broadcasts poses a problem that spark different
reactions in Iraq. Iraqis surveyed by Al-Iraqiyah TV say they
have become aware of the objectives of satellite channels, especially
those with a political agenda.
Since the collapse of the former regime, Iraqis have enjoyed
the freedom to view a plethora of satellite channels. Some of
those have been fair in their coverage of events in Iraq but
some have been trying to take advantage of the situation and
seeking to influence Iraqis' thought. But now viewers have found
the ideal channels that are worthy of being watched. Al-Iraqiyah
Joint body to discuss lifting ban on Indian TV in Pakistan
Islamabad, 4 October: India and Pakistan on Tuesday established
a joint working group (JWG) to discuss lifting of ban on Indian
television channels here and to liberalize visa procedures and
travel restrictions faced by journalists from both the countries.
During the Joint Commission meeting held here, India proposed
lifting of the ban on Indian TV channels in Pakistan as relations
between both countries have improved in the wake of the peace
process, official sources said. While India lifted the ban later,
Pakistan continued it, they said. PTI news agency, New Delhi
New private Afghan TV channel launched in south, aims to avoid
Kabul: Afghanistan's newly-established and increasingly popular
Ariana Television (ATN), as part of its expansion plans, has
launched transmissions in the southern city of Ghazni on Monday
[10 October]. The private TV channel thus entered the sixth
province since its inception just 47 days back, with ATN Director
Ghulam Reza Zaki voicing satisfaction with their ability to
reach such a large number of viewers.
"We launched our transmissions in Ghazni today after going
on air in Kabul, Kandahar, Jalalabad, Mazar-i-Sharif and Herat.
In the near future, we plan to expand our network to several
other cities in the northern, central and southern parts of
Because of the caution it exercises on sensitive issues, Zaki
observed, ATN is steering clear of controversy and attracting
a huge audience in a conservative country where the electronic
media is a new phenomenon. Funded by Afghan trader Eng Ehsanullah
Bayat, who also co-owns one of Afghanistan's mobile phone networks,
ATN is watched in 75 Asian and African nations via satellite.
Zaki revealed that they would soon launch an FM radio in major
cities of the country with round the clock broadcasts. The Ariana
Radio has already started experimental entertainment and music
transmissions in Kabul, and plans to hit the airwaves with news,
analyses and educational programmes in a month's time. Pajhwok
Afghan News Web site, Kabul
Al-Arabiya TV airs clips denouncing Iraqi draft constitution
Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya TV on 10 and 11 October
has been observed to carry promotions against the Iraqi draft
constitution alongside the pro-referendum promotions which are
currently being aired on Iraqi television channels.
The anti-constitution promotions carried on Al-Arabiya Television
are sponsored by "The Loyalty for Iraq Grouping",
as stated at the end of each promotion. Additionally, the promotions
come in the form of interviews conducted with Iraqis of both
genders, where polled citizens voice their denunciation of what
they believe to be "sectarian" constitution.
It is worth noting that the promotions appear to be less well
funded and less professional when compared to other productions
that encourage public participation in the referendum. However,
in their simple format, the statements featured in the anti-constitution
promotions seem more genuine and less rehearsed. Al-Arabiya
Text of Afghan Taleban fighters' letter seeking permission to
Peshawar:Today, the mojahedin of the Taleban Islamic Emirate
faxed an open letter to publications which was addressed to
the head of the Taleban Islamic Emirate and the Taleban Supreme
Council [Mullah Mohammad Omar]. Afghan Islamic Press also received
a copy of this letter, with about 100 signatures, expressing
anger at the arrest of the Taleban spokesman, Mofti Latifollah
Hakimi. They asked the Taleban leadership to issue orders to
kill all local and foreign journalists working for foreign media.
Here is the open letter received by AIP.
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate!
An open letter to the head of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
and the Supreme Council.
Peace be upon you!
First of all we offer you our regards and we, the mojahedin
from several provinces of Afghanistan, demand the following
of you: The crusaders and their allies have been violating all
human values and if they do not understand logic, one should
talk to them through the barrel of the gun.
In their latest aggression they arrested Mr Latifollah Hakimi,
the spokesman of the [Taleban] Islamic movement. Hakimi's job
was to inform the world public and compatriots of the true news
of the resistance against the crusaders and their barbarism
in Afghanistan. He was arrested while hundreds of Afghan and
foreign journalists are free. Day and night they produce propaganda
to brainwash Afghans. They are committing a crime by seeking
to portray the crusaders' cruelty and aggression as friendship.
Therefore, we ask you to allow us to kill every Western media
journalist and writer who opposes the Islamic Emirate [of Afghanistan]
and announce this officially because, if they arrest our cultural
affairs workers and want to silence our righteous voice, we
too have the ability to silence their voice with the power of
the gun. God willing, we urge all foreign and local people working
for the Western media to use their influence to free Mr Ustad
Yaser and Mr Latifollah Hakimi from the claws of their masters
Leaders of the Islamic Emirate, our patience is exhausted and
we resolutely demand that we should be given permission to kill
all domestic and foreign workers of the Western media. God willing,
we will not leave them in peace anywhere. We hope you will consider
our request as soon as possible and officially announce your
decision to us. Regards, the mojahedin of the Islamic Emirate
[Signatures reproduced beneath the text of the letter] Afghan
Islamic Press news agency, Peshawar
Al-Jazeera TV employees reportedly banned from entering Saudi
In a statement released yesterday, the Arab Committee for the
Defense of Journalists declared that journalists and employees
working for the Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel had been banned
from entering Saudi Arabia as the Saudi authorities ban this
channel from operating on its territory. The committee, which
is an NGO founded in February 2004, said that the Saudi embassy
in Doha "has taken a strict decision denying all those
who work for Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel visas to perform the
rites of pilgrimage or transit visas". This decision applies
to 1,250 employees "who have also been denied travel by
land across Saudi territory to their countries during summer
vacations", the statement said.
The committee, which said that it had received complaints from
journalist and workers in the Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel,
said the decision "runs counter to all international laws,
norms, human rights and even the goals of the Islamic shari'ah
itself". The committee warned that it would lodge a complaint
with the UN Human Rights Standing Committee.
In reply to a question by AFP, the Saudi charge d'affaires in
Doha, Ali al-Qazzaz, rejected these accusations, saying: "This
is not true." He however added: "We have certain arrangements
for certain groups to get visas, including media people."
He stressed that the matter is "one of regulations and
has nothing to do with a decision banning entry to anyone."
Yusuf al-Shuli, deputy chief of the Arab Committee for the Defense
of Journalists, said this organization, which is registered
in Paris and Geneva, has 1,806 members. Al-Sharq website, Doha
Islamic Jihad denounces "US-Zionist campaign" for
shutting down Web site
The media office of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine
issued a statement on the US-Zionist campaign, which led to
shutting down the website of Islamic Jihad Secretary-General
Dr Ramadan Abdallah Shallah.
The statement said: "In the framework of the US-Zionist
campaign launched against the Palestinian resistance movements,
especially the Islamic Jihad, and after a series of hacking
operations that resulted in shutting down a number of the movement's
websites over the past years more than once and in more than
one country, the US Company HostDime - as a result of a US-Zionist
campaign that exercised pressure on it - shut down the website
of Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Dr Ramadan Abdallah Shallah
under the pretext that the website is promoting hatred against
The statement added: "The website www.rabdullah.net includes
the biography of the secretary- general, his lectures, articles,
research papers and press interviews, which all defend the Palestinian
and the Islamic right to resist the Zionist occupation."
The statement concluded: "The media office of the Islamic
Jihad Movement frowns on and denounces such acts, in addition
to a series of similar acts of the Hagana Organization and other
Zionist extremists that targeted the movement's websites earlier
and are currently striving to target them. Through such acts,
they seek ways to silence a resistant Palestinian voice that
supports mujahidin who robbed the sleep of the Zionist occupation
army. We affirm that this act will not discourage us from continuing
to disclose the available truth even if its alleged advocates
can not stand it." Islamic Jihad Movement Web site
Sudan's economic achievements to feature in new TV documentary
CNBC Arabic will start transmitting documentary programs on
Sudan focusing on economic development achieved during the last
decade. The program should be transmitted on weekly basis for
two months starting Thursday [20 October].
It is worth noting that the CNBC team visited Sudan early last
July and conducted interviews with ministers and experts in
the finance, investment, oil and agricultural sectors and took
pictures of a number of development facilities. The program
will be transmitted at 10.15 p.m. Sudan local time. Sudanese
media consulate in Dubai and the public relation office in the
Ministry of Finance is sponsoring the CNBC mission to Khartoum.
Sudanese Media Centre website, Khartoum
Egypt/Saudi Arabia: New Islamic satellite channel for non-Arabic
An authoritative Saudi source has announced that a new Islamic
satellite channel aimed at non-Arabic speakers has been launched
at a preliminary cost of 50m riyals [13.3m dollars] and said
the channel would be based in Cairo.
The source said the first introductory reception of Al-Huda
[right path] satellite channel was held in holy Mecca on Sunday
night [23 October] in the presence of a group of ulema led by
Shaykh Abdallah Bin-Sulayman al-Mani, member of the Senior Ulema
Council, and Dr Salman Bin-Fahd al-Awdah, the well-known preacher
and supervisor of the Islam Today website. He pointed out that
the channel would avoid doctrinal disagreements.
Shaykh Hamad al-Ghammas, chairman of the new channel's board
of directors, said the channel is seeking to carry out the mission
for which it was established, which is to seek to guide the
viewer to a centrist course through constructive television
material and is targeting in its transmissions two groups: non-Arabic
speaking Muslims and non-Muslims who speak Arabic all over the
world. It will broadcast in three languages: English, French
Al-Ghammas pointed out that Al-Huda channel aims to acquaint
the viewer with the Muslim world and its cultures, legacies,
peoples and historic depth, present the Islamic values and explain
their role in improving the performance of societies, highlight
Islam's respect for women, disprove many of the suspicions that
are raised against Islam, instruct the Muslim minorities about
the way of coexisting with non-Muslims, plant the virtuous values
of Islam, and present the documented shari'ah fatwas to the
He added that the channel is at present broadcasting in English
round the clock on the Nilesat satellite [Nilesat 101 at 7 degrees
west] and includes varied programmes on teaching the Holy Koran,
direct fatwas, and recital of the Koran by well-known readers
accompanied by a translation of its meaning. The channel will
also carry live relay of al-tarawih [prayers held after breaking
the fast during Ramadan] from the Holy Mosque and the Prophet's
Mosque and they too are accompanied by a translation of the
Holy Koran. The channel's plans include an expansion of documentaries
and children and youth programmes.
He went on to say that the channel focuses in its programmes
on a positive media rhetoric and takes into account the variety
of the races and styles of those who present them for the purpose
of highlighting the universality of Islam and that it is not
restricted to a specific race. It also avoids doctrinal differences
and fanaticism for a view or doctrine. Al-Quds al-Arabi, London
Saudi Arabia: Chairman on goal of new English-language Islamic
Shaykh Hamad Bin-Muhammad al-Ghammas, chairman of the board
of directors of the Al-Huda [right path] satellite channel,
has announced the launching of the channel at a ceremony at
one of the holiest places on earth attended by a group of scholars,
ministers and specialists during the blessed month of Ramadan.
Shaykh Al-Ghammas noted the importance of the media in spreading
principles, cultures and values among people. He also underlined
the importance pinned on investors and media personnel in this
great country, the birthplace of the immortal message of Islam,
to take the initiative of establishing media forums that are
characterized by professionalism, moderation and a positive
attitude to explain the pure and shining image of Islam to Muslims
Speaking to Al-Watan, Shaykh Al-Ghammas said that from this
premise Al-Huda satellite channel has been launched to achieve
a set of goals; most importantly, to offer certified Shari'ah
rulings to viewers, explain the principles of the centrality
of Islam, fight the destructive ideology, highlight the fact
that Islam honours women and their role in the society, present
and debate the suspicions raised about Islam in a positive manner,
guide Muslim minorities on coexistence in their societies, instil
noble moral values in the hearts of children in a creative manner,
introduce the viewers to the Islamic world, its cultures, legacy,
people and rich history, present the sublime Islamic values
and how they could upgrade public performance, and discuss other
important values and concepts to guide Muslims to their religion,
highlight the bright image of Islam, and its moderate attitude
Al-Huda currently broadcasts in English on Nilesat (FEC: ¾
Frequency 11474, Polarization: Vertical, Symbol Rate: 27500).
The channel will expand its transmission on another satellite
to reach half the globe, according to Shaykh Al-Ghammas, who
pointed out that the channel's capital exceeds 50m Saudi riyals
[13m dollars]. He added: The channel's programmes cater to various
segments of society, including men, women, children and youths,
which explains the variety of the programming offered to these
The channel currently broadcasts a host of various programmes,
such as Koranic recitation, live fatwas [Islamic edicts], family
programmes, Koranic recitation accompanied by translation of
the meaning, and live coverage of Al-Tarawih prayers from the
Mecca and Medina holy shrines accompanied by live translation
of the meaning of the Holy Koran.
Soon, God willing, the Al-Huda channel will broadcast documentaries
and programmes dedicated to children, women and youths in languages
other than English and with a bigger footprint. Al-Ghammas disclosed
to Al-Watan that Al-Huda is one of a group of multilingual channels.
It is now transmitting in English but, God willing, French and
Spanish service will follow, he added. Source: Al-Watan website,
Abha, in Arabic 28 Oct 05
Kuwaiti government discusses riots against private TV station
Kuwait, 30 October: The cabinet discussed Sunday [30 October]
a report presented by First Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior
Shaykh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah on the riots that occurred
last Thursday against the building of Al-Ra'i satellite station
in Salmiyah, which was carried out by a "bunch of law-violators".
Shaykh Nawaf highlighted the measures taken by the ministry
to control such acts and prevent future re-occurrence.
The cabinet, chaired by HH the Prime Minister Shaykh Sabah al-Ahmad
al-Sabah, was briefed on the circumstances that led to this
incident and the material damages caused. The cabinet affirmed
that legal measures have been taken against all those involved
in the riots as it is considered a violation of the law.
It called on the concerned security bodies to take all measures
against such acts that aim at causing disorder, security instability
and violation of the law, affirming the importance of enforcing
the law. Kuna news agency website, Kuwait
Iraqi Kurdish TV station to start test satellite broadcast 5
A contract to change the [Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, PUK-run]
Baghdad-based terrestrial channel, Al-Hurriyah TV, to a satellite
station has been signed. The station is targeting Arab audiences.
The contract was signed between the head of the [PUK] central
media office, comrade Azad Jundiyani, and Mr Hiwa Fariq, the
representative of Megast [as transliterated] company which specializes
in selling satellite and broadcast equipment. The station is
expected to begin its test transmission on 5 December 2005.
Source: Kurdistani Nuwe, Sulaymaniyah, in Sorani Kurdish 31
Iraq: PUK's Al-Hurriyah TV to test via satellite
A contract to change the [Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, PUK-run]
Baghdad-based terrestrial channel, Al-Hurriyah TV, to a satellite
station has been signed. The station targets Arab audiences.
The contract was signed between the head of the [PUK] central
media office, comrade Azad Jundiyani, and Mr Hiwa Fariq, the
representative of Megast [as transliterated] company, which
specializes in selling satellite and broadcast equipment. The
station is expected to begin its test transmission on 5 December
2005. Source: Kurdistani Nuwe, Sulaymaniyah
Algeria: Editorial slams setting up of five new state TV channels
The director-general of the Algerian National Television System
[ENTV] has just announced the establishment of five "thematic"
channels, which would bring the number of public channels up
to eight. Since the sponsorship on which Hamraoui Habib Chawki
is counting is perforce limited, it will be up to the public
treasury and the taxpayer to provide most of the financing.
So there will be billions of dinars to be spent by the state
for projects whose viability is risky, owing to the extreme
weakness in domestic production, which does not even satisfy
the needs of the three existing channels - Algerian TV, Canal
Algerie and A3, which resemble one another like "three"
drops of water, practically broadcasting the same few programmes,
the weakness of whose content is glaring, with a few exceptions.
Source: El Watan website, Algiers
Bosnian electronic media announce boycott of government
[Reporter] The decision of the [Bosnian] Council of Ministers
to transfer over 1.150 million convertible marks of resources
of the Communications Regulatory Agency [CRA] to the Public
Broadcasting Service of Bosnia-Herzegovina is illegitimate and
thus unsustainable, the Bosnian Association of Electronic Media
has announced. Source: Independent TV Hayat, Sarajevo
Good future for BBC Arabic TV if professionalism, objectivity
kept - Iraqi paper
Even after the sail of British barges from the Persian Gulf
following the handover of the keys to the Suez Canal by Britain
that marked the fading of the British Empire, the Arabic language
BBC radio has continued playing the British monarchy anthem
until now. It has been the most important media outlet for Arab
listeners for several decades. However, since the second Gulf
War and the defeat and retreat of Saddam's forces from Kuwait,
the popularity of the BBC Arabic radio service in the Arab world
has begun to fade, while the star of satellite television channels,
started by CNN, began to shine.
Although it is the wealthiest media organization in the world,
apart from a single television channel in the Arabic language
that did not last long, surprisingly, the British Broadcasting
Corporation did not pay attention to the Arab world. A decade
later, London surrendered and decided to launch a new satellite
television channel, "Here Is London", in the Arab
The pressing question now is whether the new BBC satellite television
channel will have a better chance than its predecessor and some
other satellite television channels. The launch of such a satellite
channel is a political decision in the first place, as is the
case with the BBC World Service's other radio and television
broadcasts and services, which is one of the most expensive
and important media networks in the world. This is because the
BBC is a semi-independent state institution and is basically
funded by the British citizens who have to pay a compulsory
annual license fee for their television sets.
Moreover, this old taxation system to fund government projects
is currently facing many challenges by the British people, who
regard the fee as unjustifiable because they are deprived of
the right to choose, especially with the growing number of private
independent television channels. While television tax payers
are not concerned with politics, the British government, especially
during Prime Minister Tony Blair's term in office, believes
exactly the opposite. The British government believes that without
media guidance, the Middle East region and Arabs in particular,
form a dangerous source of unrest in the world and in the UK,
where terrorists from Middle East are commonly hanging around
in the streets.
Media propaganda is part of the precautionary war against terrorism.
Al-Qa'idah has its programmes, DVDs and websites. Al-Qa'idah's
media outlets broadcast its provocative programmes to Muslims
and others in several languages, including English, promoting
an endless war.
The BBC World Service broadcast has always been characterized
by its high professionalism, superb quality of programmes and
objectivity, away from direct propaganda and demagoguery. If
the new satellite television channel chooses to march along
the same path, I do not think that it will face any difficulty
in restoring the BBC's old esteemed status in a region that
is full of events. The BBC Arabic radio has an impeccable reputation
and history and has played an important role in confronting
false propaganda by Arab regimes during previous disasters in
the region, where it acted as a political reference and source
of information. Although the political arena now is different
from what it was in the past, impassioned media stations can
still find a place in the region which truly needs great media
sanatoriums to cleanse it from the residuals of everlasting
uproars. Source: Al-Dustur, Baghdad
Iranian radio, TV chief denounces West's "propaganda commotion"
Iranian TV news channel, starting at 0748 gmt, carried a live
relay of a speech (in progress) by Ezzatollah Zarghami, the
head of the Iranian broadcasting organization, addressing the
participants of the "Anti-Global Arrogance Day" rally
outside the former US embassy in Tehran.
Zarghami's speech was mainly about the circumstances during
the revolutionary days in Iran that led up to the seizure of
the US embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979 (Zarghami was one
of the students himself) and about the historical "injustices"
perpetrated by the US, Britain and Israel, including the killing
of Red Indians by American settlers.
At 0805 gmt, Zarghami said: "In circumstances in which
hundreds of media stations are active against Muslims, spread
rumours and speak about changing the regime of the Islamic republic,
see how, when the Islamic republic makes the slightest move,
they act in such a terrorist-like way. [Zarghami was speaking
earlier in his speech about Western "media terrorism."]
What was Sahar satellite station, which belongs to the Islamic
republic, saying at an international level for them to force
its closure? The station was defending the rights of the deprived
and oppressed people of Palestine. It showed the Zionists' crimes.
But, without issuing any ultimatum, without any setting of the
background, they announced that the station had to be halted.
And, with the dominance that they have over satellite stations
and the world management, they did it [acted against the station].
"And I think that this is a very good opportunity for our
honourable government to understand the importance and sensitivity
of the media war today and, by establishing a media base and
allocating the necessary funds, to provide an opportunity for
the Islamic republic to have its own independent satellite,
to have numerous stations, to have its own independent, English-language
news station, so that today, when our president says a word,
a phrase, which represents the phrase of this great, present-on-the-scene
nation and is a recollection of His Eminence the Imam's [Khomeyni's]
phrases, they cannot carry out such an extensive propaganda
commotion at an international level with their media, with some
people - a strange crowd - at home picking up their material
and imagining that something new has occurred. No, this is the
same old crushing revolutionary movement of this big, Islamic
country which is courageously standing up to America today and,
in the words of Reagan, who had nothing to say after those events
in the early days of the revolution other than to confess that,
Today, Iran has humiliated us.
"What the Islamic republic is doing today and this just
word, which has been recognized throughout the world today -
with all the world's Muslims being inclined towards it - it
is natural that this cannot be acceptable to them [the West].
Hence, to the extent that they are able, they do their utmost
using this media terrorism dimension." Source: Islamic
Republic of Iran News Network, Tehran
Morocco: King Mohammed VI launches TV channel dedicated to Islam
Rabat, 2 November: King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful,
launched here Wednesday [2 November] Mohammed VI channel for
Holy Koran Assadissa.
Created in conjunction between the Ministry of Habous [religious
endowments] and Islamic Affairs, Ministry of Communication and
the National Company of Radio and Television (SNRT), the channel
will air programmes dedicated to Koran lecture and interpretation,
predication and Hadith [stories about the life of Prophet Muhammad],
in addition to producing debates in favour of youth with the
participation of renowned ulema (scholars) on various issues.
The channel will also produce programmes in Amazigh [Berber]
and French languages to enlarge the channel audience. Source:
MAP news agency
Malaysian minister: Purchase of NTV7 by media group "purely"
Kuala Lumpur, 3 November: Media Prima Bhd's acquisition of Natseven
TV Sdn Bhd, which owns and operates NTV7, is a normal business
deal, Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr
Lim Keng Yaik said Thursday [3 November].
"It's purely a business deal, that's all," he quipped
when reporters asked him on the purchase at the joint Hari Raya
['Id al-Fitr] open house hosted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his Muslim cabinet ministers at Putra
World Trade Centre. Dr Lim declined to elaborate. Source: Bernama
news agency website, Kuala Lumpur
"Iraqi resistance" publishes newspaper - Jordanian
The first issue of the newspaper Sawt al-Haqq [Voice of the
Truth], the voice of the Iraqi resistance with all its trends,
has been distributed in Baghdad and various Iraqi cities. The
proprietor is the National Front for the Liberation of Iraq
and the chief editor is Dr Musa al-Husayni. The paper contains
The front page features the main banner headline, which reads
"The Iraqi resistance is the sole legitimate representative
of the Iraqi people"; an editorial entitled "Free
Iraq...legitimate right," which is signed by the front's
leadership; and a host of resistance news. The first issue congratulated
Iraqis on the occasion of Id al-Fitr. Source: Al-Arab al-Yawm,
Authorities ban live TV broadcasts from Azerbaijan
Baku, 4 November: All foreign TV channels which have arrived
in Azerbaijan to cover the forthcoming parliamentary election
cannot send live video reports from Azerbaijan. The reason is
the reluctance of the Azerbaijani authorities to provide the
TV channels with the necessary technical equipment for this.
Furthermore, the authorities have not allowed satellite equipment
needed for live reports to be brought into the country. They
have taken satellite dishes from Russia's NTV and RTR.
Three days ago, a bus carrying satellite equipment owned by
Turkey's Ihlas agency miraculously "appeared" in Azerbaijan.
But the authorities prohibited their work and demanded that
they leave the country. Commenting on this, Nusiravan Maharramli,
head of the national TV and radio council, said the Azerbaijani
authorities should "set" the rules for live broadcasts
So the authorities will have an opportunity to regulate reports
sent from here. Currently all TV channels are obliged to send
regular reports via the Mir TV channel, which reduces their
quickness and substantially restricts the capabilities of journalists.
In this manner, the authorities will take every measure the
day before the parliamentary election to restrict the spread
of information that does not satisfy their interests. Source:
Turan news agency, Baku
Iran press: Broadcasting chief accuses USA of "media-terrorism"
Politics Desk: Contrary to the established practice in the previous
years, and due to the concurrence of 13th Aban [4 November]
anniversary with the Id al-Fitr, this year the annual anti-American
demonstrations outside the former embassy of that country in
Tehran were held on Wednesday last week [2 November]. Nonetheless,
following the tradition of previous years, the demonstrators
began their action with setting the flags of Britain and America
on fire and carrying banners and placards, with slogans such
as "death to Israel", and "death to America".
These demonstrations were attended by a number of members of
the student Basij units, the Islamic Society of [University]
Students, the Union of the Islamic Societies of Independent
Students, and the Shiraz tendency of the Office for Fostering
Unity. However, the absence of famous Government figures in
the demonstrations was noticeable, and in fact apart from Ezzatollah
Zarghami, the head of the Voice and Vision Organisation, there
were no other prominent state officials among the demonstrators.
In spite of this, however, in line with the established tradition
in such gatherings, the representatives of the participating
groups and organisations issued a resolution and declared that
the student movement still continued to consider America as
the enemy of the free nations of the world.
Furthermore, the signatories of the said resolution defended
the stance of the President on the regime of Israel, and described
that stance as a sacred aspiration, and at the same time, they
condemned the move by Israel to label that stance as terrorism.
After reading out the resolution by the student organisations,
Zarghami delivered a speech and said the policies of the Provisional
Government [of Engineer Mehdi Bazargan] on 13 Aban 1358 [4 November
1979] were in line and agreement with the objectives of the
Americans. Referring to the recent interview given by Musavi
Kho'iniha about those events, Zarghami said: His remarks in
fact confirmed the fact that the objectives of the Provisional
Government were in clear contradiction of the guidelines and
instructions of His Holiness the Imam [Khomeyni] - may he be
admitted to God's Paradise.
In addition, Zarghami referred to the new methods of America's
fight against countries such as Iran, and explained that at
the present juncture, America was the centre of terrorism, biotechnology
[as written] and media-terrorism [word in English in the original]
in the world. He went on to say: At a time when their media
organs are engaged in intense propaganda against the Muslims,
the reception of programmes of the Sahar TV network, which is
affiliated to the Islamic Republic of Iran, is disrupted merely
because of its defence of the people of Palestine.
In conclusion to his remarks, the head of the Voice and Vision
Organisation emphasised that the propaganda of the West against
the Islamic Republic of Iran would prove fruitless, and added:
Steadfastness, together economic stability and calm will only
be achieved by resistance and resilience in the face of Global
Turkey: Minister attacks Denmark's position over Kurdish TV
[Presenter] Justice Minister Cemil Cicek reacted strongly to
Denmark's statement that they are waiting for information from
Turkey over Roj TV, which is engaged in pro-PKK broadcasts.
Declaring that the documents on Roj TV have been submitted to
Denmark numerous times, Cicek warned that no-one should play
the three monkeys. Cicek also criticized writer Orhan Pamuk,
without naming him openly, against whom a lawsuit had been filed.
Source: NTV television, Istanbul
Iraq: New independent news agency starts operations
A new news agency, called the National Iraqi News Agency (NINA)
[Arabic: al-wikalah al-wataniyah al-iraqiyah li al-anba], began
transmission yesterday in Baghdad.
An authoritative official in the agency stressed that it is
independent "and has no link with the government and is
not an extension of the government's Iraqi News Agency (INA)",
which was established in 1959 and collapsed after the downfall
of Saddam Husayn in April 2003.
The source added that the agency "will not be a tool for
inciting violence and will avoid everything that creates hatred
between the sons of the people and definitely does not represent
any tendency, party, ideology or political message. As it does
not have any links with any official or unofficial party, it
will be self-financing to ensure its independence and it does
not rely on any foreign financing sources." Source: Al-Sharq
al-Awsat Web site, London
Qatar: Al-Jazeera plans to set up opinion poll centre
Doha: Al-Jazeera has plans to soon set up a centre that would
conduct research and opinion polls on issues of global and regional
significance, chairman Shaykh Hamad bin-Thamir Al Thani said
He was speaking at the ninth anniversary celebrations of Al-Jazeera
channel at a function here. Shaykh Hamad bin-Thamir reiterated
that Al-Jazeera English channel was all set to be launched in
the first quarter of next year. The channel, he recalled, had
made progress since launch in November 1996 and today ranked
fifth among the international channels in the world in terms
of reach and extensive coverage.
"It is a great achievement for a channel that was set up
only nine years ago." The chairman also recalled on the
occasion the sacrifices of some scribes who lost their lives
covering events for Al-Jazeera and those who were facing prison
terms for the cause of press freedom such as Taysir Alluni and
lensman Sami al-Haj. Source: The Peninsula Web site, Doha
Turkey: Kurdish TV says it abides by Danish, EU principles
Roj TV, the voice of peace, freedom, and the brotherhood of
peoples, has issued a statement in response to the Turkish state's
efforts to have it closed down. In its statement, Roj TV says
that contrary to allegations, it broadcasts in line with EU
broadcasting principles. It calls on the Kurdish people and
the public opinion to be sensitive in connection with the pressures.
Roj TV says that ever since it received a Danish licence to
broadcast on 19 December 2003, it has been abiding by the Danish
and EU broadcasting principles. It recalls that the Turkish
state has been attacking it systematically from day one, and
that a new wave of attacks has been started in recent days.
We had to inform our millions of viewers and the public opinion
about this state terrorism, Roj TV says, adding that the current
Turkish policy on education, culture, and the media is based
on a single nation, single language, and single religion. All
institutions, planning, communications, and policies are organized
on the basis of this official ideology, the statement says,
and the Turkish Constitution and the Turkish Penal Code prevent
the voicing of differences.
The statement then says: The European Court of Human Rights
has hundreds of decisions that prove how Turkey punishes ideas
that are not in line with the state's official ideology. The
Radio and Television High Council has not yet granted private
television channels and radio stations the right to broadcast
in Kurdish. Media organs that broadcast in Kurdish are put on
trial and punished. Turkey has dared export its bans and restrictions
to Europe even though it is constantly cautioned by the EU in
connection with this issue.
Roj TV concludes its statement by calling on Roj TV viewers
and international free media organizations to be sensitive in
connection with the dirty moves of the Turkish state. Source:
Roj TV, Copenhagen, in Turkish
Two killed in attack on Iraqi Kurdish TV - Egyptian agency
Arbil, Iraq, 9 November: A roadside bomb went off on Wednesday
[9 November] when an Iraqi police patrol was passing by in the
northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk injuring three policemen. Meanwhile,
an unidentified group shot dead a Kurdish businessman in Al-Quriyah
neighbourhood [in Kirkuk] and fled the scene. A bomb planted
near the premises of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan TV station
exploded, killing two guards and causing material damage to
the building. Source: MENA news agency, Cairo
Montenegrin experts slam new US-funded media strategy
Excerpt from report by J.R. entitled "Worthless text that
costs 300,000 euros" published by the Montenegrin newspaper
Dan on 10 November.
The draft of the strategy for the development of electronic
communications over the next 10 years, which will be publicly
discussed until 18 November, would not have been worth any level
of attention whatsoever had 300,000 euros not been invested
in it. This is what the council of the Agency for Telecommunications
said yesterday after discussing this paper. Council chairman
Ljubisa Stankovic says that he never heard anybody say a positive
word about this document. He expects that the work on a new
plan of development of telecommunications and radio broadcasting
in Montenegro will begin as soon as possible.
"The strategy fails to describe the current situation and
the technical context and there are a few inaccurate data inputs,
therefore this text cannot serve as a foundation for the further.
Source: Dan, Podgorica
USA: Broadcast officials defend US-funded Arab television
US broadcast officials have defended the American-funded Arab
satellite television station, Al-Hurra, against allegations
of mismanagement. A House subcommittee held a hearing looking
into the charges, and the impact the station is having in the
Al-Hurra television broadcasts in 22 countries in the Muslim
world, and is a key part of an overall US government public
diplomacy strategy aimed at counteracting the influence of Al-Jazeera
The State Department recently confirmed that its inspector-general
is conducting an audit of Al-Hurra, which officials have described
However, the subcommittee on oversight and investigations of
the House International Relations Committee called a hearing
in response to complaints from former employees about alleged
financial improprieties and hiring practices.
These involve issues of outside services contracted by the station,
specifically to Associated Press Television, and a Beirut-based
company Quantum Communications. Source: Dani, Sarajevo
Azeri opposition wants airtime on Public TV
Baku, 12 November: Opposition leaders have appealed to Cahangir
Mammadli, head of the Public TV Broadcasting Council, and Public
TV executive director Ismayil Omarov, urging them to observe
the principles of public broadcasting and allocate airtime to
all political parties of the country.
Five days after the [6 November] parliamentary election, Public
TV has not yet presented the views of opposition leaders on
the election, they said, adding that Public TV did not even
cover the opposition rally held on 9 November. "This is
against the law 'On Public TV broadcasting' and the philosophy
of public broadcasting, which should present different views
and positions on issues of public importance to the TV audience.
It should also ensure freedom of speech and pluralism,"
The opposition leaders called on the Public TV management to
change their position and give the Azadliq [Freedom] and the
National Unity blocs access to airtime. The appeal was signed
by the leaders of the Musavat Party, the People's Front of Azerbaijan
Party, the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan and the National Unity
Movement. Source: Turan news
Pakistan/USA: VOA to beam daily TV programme to Pakistan
Washington: Voice of America (VOA) is to begin telecasting through
a Pakistani commercial channel a 30-minute television programme
in Urdu from 14 November.
Called "Beyond the Headlines", the programme will
be aired on Geo TV at 7.30 p.m, Monday through Friday, as well
as on selected international satellites, including AsiaSat and
IOR. Source: Daily Times website, Lahore
Iraqi TV reacts to Sunni scholars' statement on terror "confessions"
AMS statement No 181, dated 8 November 2005, states that "the
occupation satellite channel" falsely accused "a virtuous
group of imams and preachers of planning and instigating the
killing of this and that person". The statement adds that
Al-Iraqiyah "insolently slanders the symbols of the nation"
and "tries to tarnish the reputation of dignified imams".
The statement accuses Al-Iraqiyah of having "a clear goal,
which is harming religious symbols and preventing mosques from
playing their role in reform to make way for the occupier to
spread corruption in the land". The AMS statement concludes
by calling on "all religious authorities and scholars to
adopt a decisive stand against these violations."
Al-Iraqiyah news presenter says: "Brig-Gen Basim al-Gharrawi,
commander of the Al-Burkan [volcano] Brigades of the Interior
Ministry, has called on all the mosque imams whose names were
mentioned in the terrorists' confessions broadcast by Al-Iraqiyah
channel to give their legal statements and face the witnesses
and those legally convicted. It is worth noting that the AMS
reprehended Al-Iraqiyah for showing these confessions."
Following this, an announcer-read report over video shows the
AMS statement and footage from the Terrorism in the Hand of
Justice programme. The announcer says: "A statement was
posted by the AMS reprehending Al-Iraqiyah Television for showing
terrorists' confessions within its programme Terrorism in the
Hand of Justice. The terrorists stated that a number of mosque
imams are linked to the criminal operations in the areas of
Al-Amiriyah and Al-Ghazaliyah."
Describing the allegations against the imams as "serious
and terrible", Brig-Gen Al-Gharrawi says that the police
forces carried out operations in Al-Amiriyah and Al-Ghazaliyah.
Al-Gharrawi adds: "I am ready to receive anyone from the
AMS who wants to confront me regarding this issue and I will
conduct a free dialogue with him. I am also ready to bring those
who confessed against the imams and let them confront those
imams with their confessions.". Source: Al-Iraqiyah TV,
Pakistan: CNBC business channel starts operations
Islamabad, 14 November: CNBC channel started operating in Pakistan
on Monday [14 November], the country chairman of the network,
Zafar Siddique, said.
He told a news conference that three bureaus of the CNBC in
Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi would provide roundups about current
events besides giving financial updates to the viewers round
the clock. These bureau offices would have live connectivity
with other bureau offices of the CNBC in the world from Monday
to Friday every week, he said. Source: Associated Press of Pakistan
news agency, Islamabad
Authorities in western Afghanistan confirm licence for new TV
Herat, 15 November: A private television channel, Saqi [ an
old Persian poetic word for a cupbearer], is scheduled to formally
launch its transmissions in the western Herat Province in the
next one-and-a-half months, officials said on Tuesday [15 November].
Source: Pajhwok Afghan News Web site, Kabul
Pakistan: BBC rebroadcasters closed down
Karachi, 14 November: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory
Authority [PEMRA] on Monday evening [14 November] raided a private
FM radio station on Sharea Faisal and closed its transmission
for alleged violation of PEMRA by-laws. PEMRA officials assisted
by the local police raided the FM 103 radio station and seized
its transponders, antennas and other broadcast equipment.
A representative of the radio station said PEMRA officials with
police raided the station and misbehaved with the staff. The
police officials used abusive language and seized the equipment,
forcing the FM 103 to close down its broadcast. He said PEMRA
officials had alleged that the radio station had provided its
medium to relay the broadcast of a foreign-based radio channel.
Source: Dawn website, Karachi
Iran: Culture minister says press freedom "basis"
of government policy
Tehran, 15 November-Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad
Hoseyn Saffar-Harandi said support for press freedom and respect
for people's rights to have access to free flow of information
are the basis of current policies.
Speaking during the 19th nationwide seminar of Friday prayers
leaders on Tuesday [15 November], Saffar-Harandi added that
press freedoms might face some restrictions in line with divine
laws and in defence of public rights.
"The press is free to criticize those at the highest echelons
of the officialdom and though such criticisms might be unfair,
they will be tolerated," ISNA quoted him as saying. "What
we cannot tolerate is offending the sanctities." Source:
Iran Daily Web site, Tehran
Iran to launch five satellites by the end of Fourth Plan - agency
Talking to reporters on the threshold of World Space Week to
be held from 28 Aban to 4 Azar [19-25 November], head of the
Space Organization Ahmad Talebzadeh has said: During the fourth
economic development plan, five satellites, including Mesbah,
Zohreh and Sina satellites, will be launched into orbit. He
added: In addition to these satellites, three small satellites
would also be launched into orbit. Source: Fars News Agency
Al-Jazeera TV reports US media "blackout" on white
phosphorus issue in Iraq
The use of white phosphorus in Iraq by US troops during the
assault on Al-Fallujah in 2004 and the reaction of US media
and officials to the reporting, originally by an Italian TV
channel, was the subject of news reports and interviews by Qatari
Al-Jazeera satellite TV on 16 November.
The TV began its reporting with the following announcer-read
report: "The Pentagon has admitted that the US army used
white phosphorus during the military operations in Al-Fallujah
in November 2004. A Pentagon spokesman said that the US army
used white phosphorus against fighters in the city, denying
that it was used against civilians. We would like to draw to
your attention that the report contains disturbing images."
This was followed by a video report by Al-Jazeera correspondent
Fatimah al-Turayki on the Italian Rai news channel's documentary
entitled "Al-Fallujah, the hidden massacre". She says:
"This [video shows images of burnt bodies] took place in
Iraq, not Vietnam, one year ago, but the world knew about it
only a week ago when Italian Rai news channel aired its documentary
entitled "Al-Fallujah, the hidden massacre", in which
it said that the Americans used internationally-banned weapons
and chemical weapons in Al-Fallujah."
She added: "The US army said after the screening of the
film that it had used white phosphorus in Al-Fallujah to illuminate
the enemy's locations at night, as it put it. What is new now
is the Pentagon's admission that white phosphorus was used against
the enemies themselves, not only to illuminate their locations.
The Pentagon denied that it was used against civilians. The
Italian film showed that children and women were among the victims
of this weapon. The film also showed a former US soldier in
Iraq testifying that he was instructed to remain cautious during
the Al-Fallujah battles because white phosphorus would be used
in these battles."
Al-Jazeera then interviewed Muhammad al-Alami, Al-Jazeera correspondent
in Washington, to report on US reaction to the Pentagon's admission
that the US army used white phosphorus in Al-Fallujah. Al-Alami
said: "US media outlets did not pay much attention to this
story following the airing of the film on the Italian channel."
He added: "There is no official or popular reaction to
this issue because the US media did not pay much attention to
Asked if the US Congress was going to question Pentagon officials
with regard to this issue, Al-Alami said: "The Congress
might not pay attention to this issue, maybe because of the
fact that the US media outlets did not pay much attention to
it." He added: "US legislators might not give attention
to this issue because of the fact that the Pentagon said that
the material used was not a chemical weapon but rather a conventional
weapon, according to a US military spokesman."
Al-Jazeera also interviewed former Pentagon adviser Harlan Ullman
on the US media "blackout" on this issue. Harlan said:
"First of all, there is no evidence that civilians were
killed by such a weapon. The film only shows dead civilians;
it is not known what type of weapon was used to kill them. White
phosphorus is usually used to illuminate enemy locations and
create a smoke screen to prevent the enemy from identifying
the troops' location. It is a conventional weapon." He
added: "As for the dead civilians shown in the film, the
cause of their death is not known."
Asked about the credibility of the US soldier's testimony that
he was warned that white phosphorus might be used in Al-Fallujah
operations, Ullman said: "Having one person in one documentary
saying something like this does not make what he said true."
He added that the issue was not whether these civilians were
killed by white phosphorus or a conventional weapon. "The
question is: Were they intentionally or accidentally killed?
We should not focus on the type of weapons used to kill them
because this will smear the US forces' image and give the impression
that the US forces use banned weapons," he added.
Asked if the images of the completely burnt bodies that appeared
in the film made him wonder how they were killed, Ullman replied:
"I participated in many battles and saw many burnt and
dead bodies killed by conventional weapons. If this is a crime,
it should be investigated to identify those responsible for
it. The film does not provide any evidence. It neither shows
the number of those killed nor when and where they were killed.
The whole issue needs further investigation. The Americans do
not want to hide this issue. It is silly to continue focusing
on whether or not white phosphorus was used. What is important
is to investigate why these people were killed." Source:
Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic
Bangladesh: Protest against killing of journalist in Faridpur
Gautam Das, staff reporter of Dainik Samakal, was strangled
by unknown assailants at his office on the second floor of a
multi-storeyed building at Niltali in the town on Wednesday
night [16 November]. The autopsy report said it was a case of
Journalists strongly protested the murder of Gautam. A rally
chaired by President of Faridpur Journalists Association, Munshi
Harunur Rashid, demanded arrest of the killers within four days.
The rally announced a four-day mourning, when local newspaper
offices will hoist black flags and journalists will wear black
badges. Source: The Daily Star website, Dhaka, in English 18
Iran launches first private satellite TV
With the establishment of a network entitled: Salaris, by Iranian
and Chinese industrial companies; the first private satellite
TV network has been launched in Tehran. [agency's headline]
According to a TV correspondent of Mehr News Agency, the satellite
TV network, which broadcasts in English, has been launched thanks
to the efforts of Iran Automobile Company and a number of Chinese
companies. The network's priority is to focus on economic issues.
The Salaris satellite network is the first private satellite
network which has offices Tehran and Dubai. Source: Mehr news
Al-Jazeera opens Johannesburg bureau
Johannesburg, 21 November: Middle East-based news channel Al-Jazeera
International has opened offices in Johannesburg and has hired
former SABC [South African Broadcasting Corporation] senior
reporter Kalay Maistry as its Southern Africa correspondent.
Speaking to Sapa on Monday [21 November] evening, Maistry, who
has extensive broadcast journalism experience, described joining
the channel as a "fresh challenge".
"It's a 24-hour international news challenge and I'll be
doing what I've always dreamed of: being a foreign correspondent."
Maistry left the national broadcaster recently and Monday was
her first day at Al Jazeera International.
She said she believed the news channel had no hidden agenda
and that it was committed to impartiality and reporting on Africa
in a way that would show a different side to it. Source: SAPA
news agency website, Johannesburg, in English
Kuwaiti minister announces project for Arab cultural TV channel
London: Kuwaiti Information Minister Dr Anas al-Rashid has announced
a project to launch the Arab cultural channel "Discovery"
for the purpose of increasing scientific, cultural, and intellectual
awareness in the region, saying it is an effort to limit the
culture of extremism and violence.
Al-Rashid disclosed this during his intervention at the last
day of the "extremism and terror" seminar which discussed
hate media and how to limit its use to incite violence and terror.
The Kuwaiti information minister said at the seminar sponsored
by the Kuwaiti Information Centre and Al-Sharq al-Awsat that
he had presented this project to Kuwaiti Prime Minister Shaykh
Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah after talks with channel officials.
He added that this project would be presented to the Gulf Cooperation
Council leaders. Source: Al-Sharq al-Awsat website, London
Iranian minister at Non-Aligned Movement summit criticizes western
Kuala Lumpur, 22 November: An Iranian cabinet minister today
lashed out at the western media at an international conference
here, for distorting facts and projecting "a different
picture to the world". Iran Minister of Culture and Islamic
Guidance [Mohammad Hoseyn] Saffar-Harandi said while Iranian
President Dr [Mahmud] Ahmadinezhad had time and again declared
that it was the aim of the Iranian government to establish justice,
compassion, service and building a healthy and developed society
in the country, the "western colonialist media" were
distorting facts and portraying the country differently to the
"This attitude of the western media is not merely aimed
at Iran," he said, adding that at the end, people of the
west "do not hear anything about developing countries except
In a debate at the Sixth Conference of Ministers of Information
of Non-Aligned Countries (COMINAC VI), he said often the same
media also imposed their own plans and ideas on third world
countries. Harandi said despite the fact that more than half-a-century
had lapsed since the establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement
(NAM), most developing nations continue to suffer from the remedies
that the western media prescribed to them.
"As we all know every country has the right to develop
and have access to information as a basic human right. However,
in this one-sided flow of information from north to south, 20
per cent of the world population prepares information for the
remaining 80 per cent," he added.
He said like in the case of other development, access to information
too should be subjected to just distribution so that it guaranteed
the independence and preserved the non-aligned status of the
114 member countries of NAM. He said presently, the invasion
of a country was not restricted to military expedition but included
the media's "soft war" against the weak and isolated
He said the unjust threats faced by developing countries today
came in the guise of human rights, championed by the western
media. "As these powers control the international flow
of information, they distort facts in such a way as if there
is no discrimination, poverty stricken localities, indiscriminate
shooting at primary schools (pupils) and fraudulent elections
in their own countries.
"Interestingly they claim that they are the saviours of
mankind and other nations, including NAM countries, and that
developing countries are anti-human," said Harandi.
He also said that there were double standards in the reporting.
The same media which does not utter a word about the nuclear
arsenals of Israel, which has over 300 nuclear warheads, makes
a hue and cry over efforts by Iran to use nuclear technology
for peaceful purposes, he said. "While on one hand the
US talks of the New World Order, on the other hand, it continuously
seeks to impose its economic, military, cultural and technological
dominance on other nations," he added.
He said the need to have an effective Non-Aligned Movement News
Network (NNN) and closer cooperation among the mass media of
NAM member countries was felt more than ever as it could promote
joint information services and confront the existing monopoly
over news and information flow. NAM members and other developing
countries should provide each other with news reports in order
to have a better picture of what is happening in the world and
not rely on western news agencies alone, said Harandi. Source:
Bernama news agency website, Kuala Lumpur
Qatar/USA: Arab editor reacts to report of Bush plan to bomb
[Jammul] The British Daily Mirror newspaper has said that a
document, which Labour MP Tony Clarke received, included information
confirming that US President George Bush briefed British Prime
Minister Tony Blair, during the latter's visit to the White
House in April 2004, on a plan to bomb the Al-Jazeera channel
in Qatar and some of its offices abroad. The newspaper said
that Blair warned President Bush that carrying out such action
could provoke a worldwide backlash. Reuters said that a British
civil servant was accused of leaking the document and that he
A 10 Downing Street source refused to comment on the newspaper's
report. The newspaper said that former British Defence Minister
Peter Kilfoyle challenged the Prime Minister's Office to publish
the content of the document. The Daily Mirror said that the
existence of such a document raises doubts about the responsibility
for bombing the Al-Jazeera office in Kabul.
I have with me from London Abd-al-Bari Atwan, chief editor of
Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper. What does President Bush thinking
of bombing Al-Jazeera and some of its offices abroad mean?
[Atwan] We know that the mass media is a basic component of
war, any war that is launched to achieve political aims. The
Arab mass media was primarily targeted to prevent the emergence
of facts about the US and British lies regarding the war on
Iraq. If we go back a little bit, we find that the US administration
did resort to aerial bombardment to destroy the Al-Jazeera offices
in Kabul. It also bombed the Al-Jazeera and Abu Dhabi channels'
offices in Baghdad during the Iraqi war in early 2003. As a
result, colleague Tariq Ayyub was martyred and colleague Taysir
Alluni, who was later arrested, miraculously survived the attack.
The US administration seeks to mislead the Arab and world public
opinion and cover up the lies related to the war and the reasons
for launching this war. It seeks to cover up the losses. Al-Jazeera
is still banned in Iraq. It has also been banned by several
Arab countries. In addition, the United States had earmarked
60m dollars to finance the Al-Hurrah channel to counter Al-Jazeera.
The British government intends to launch a satellite channel
in Arabic to compete with Al-Jazeera. The Arab countries that
were harmed by the modern Arab media represented by Al-Jazeera
established a satellite channel and channelled hundreds of millions
of dollars to it in order to black out... [passage omitted]
.Source: Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 0912 gmt 22 Nov 05
QATAR: Al Jazeera says it is studying Daily Mirror report
Al Jazeera says it is looking into a report in Britain's Daily
Mirror newspaper alleging that US President George Bush planned
to bomb the broadcaster's TV station.
In a statement on Tuesday [22 November], Al Jazeera said it
"maintains a set of journalistic practices built on being
fair, impartial and balanced, and as is the standard practice
with every story, Aljazeera is going through a due diligence
process of verifying the details of the Daily Mirror report".
It added: "Before making any conclusions Al Jazeera needs
to be absolutely sure regarding the authenticity of the memo
and would hope for a confirmation from Downing Street as soon
"If the report is correct then this would be both shocking
and worrisome not only to Al Jazeera but to media organizations
across the world." The station added that if the leaked
memo was authentic, "it would cast serious doubts in regard
to the US administration's version of previous incidents involving
Aljazeera's journalists and offices.
"It would also constitute a new chapter in the relationship
between two of the most powerful governments in the world and
media organizations in general. "We sincerely urge both
the White House and Downing Street to challenge the Daily Mirror
report and in the event that the memo is found to be accurate
it would be incumbent on them to explain their positions on
statements regarding the deliberate targeting of journalists
and news organizations," Al Jazeera said.
In April 2003, an Aljazeera journalist died when its Baghdad
office was struck during a US bombing campaign. In November
2002, Aljazeera's office in Kabul, Afghanistan, was destroyed
by a US missile, although no staff were in the office at the
time. US officials said they believed the target was a "terrorist"
site and did not know it was Aljazeera's office. Source: Aljazeera.net
Web site, Doha, in English 0651 gmt 23 Nov 05
Al-Jazeera chief wants probe into bomb plan allegation, concerned
over UK step
George W. Bush voiced the intention of bombing Al-Jazeera's
headquarters in Qatar, but the press was prohibited from disseminating
the news because it could have been prosecuted for violating
state secrecy. [Passage omitted, summarizing details of story
to date] Well, Wadah Khanfar, who is Al-Jazeera's director-general,
does not believe in the two Western allies' [United States,
United Kingdom] good faith. A Jordanian of Palestinian origin,
36-year-old Khanfar is in Rome today for the presentation of
a book on his television channel by Donatella Della Ratta.
[Dusi] Do you really believe that the United States might have
[Khanfar] The fact that the British magistracy has moved to
prevent dissemination of the report boosts my concern. We have
already lost two journalists under US bombs, in Kabul in 2001
and in Afghanistan in 2003. According to the United States,
they were accidents. Now we no longer believe in this version,
and we are calling for a complete investigation both into today's
threats and into the two episodes in the past.
[Dusi] What repercussions has the report had in the Arab world?
[Khanfar] We have had many expressions of solidarity from viewers,
from colleagues in journalism and from associations for the
freedom of the press. The United States' credibility as the
bearer of democracy in the Middle East has suffered a further
blow. Is this the message that it wants to get across to us?
It seems to me, rather, to be an insult to rationality.
[Dusi] By what path should the Middle East achieve democracy?
[Khanfar] Democracy is part of a broader concept of reforms
that include freedom, education, development, information, prosperity
and security. All of these factors go hand in hand. The war
in Iraq has had the positive effect of removing Saddam, but
the price that the Middle East is paying is too high and, in
the end, US policy is achieving the opposite effect from what
it was hoping to achieve. It is actually slowing down the reform
Al-Jazeera, on the other hand, is a leading player in that process.
Our television station represents the most reliable and rapid
means for reform. Do they accuse us of being extremists? Well,
our response is the millions of viewers who choose us in full
freedom because they trust us and identify with our line. Source:
La Repubblica, Rome, in Italian 24 Nov 05
Qatar: Al-Jazeera staff plan protest over reported Bush remarks
Journalists' rights groups are urging the United States and
Britain to provide clarification of a report that suggests US
President George Bush sought to bomb Al-Jazeera.
The controversy surrounds details of a leaked British government
memo published by a UK newspaper, the Daily Mirror, earlier
this week. "This is a very serious charge with grave implications
for the safety of media professionals," said Ann Cooper,
executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.
"Refusing to address these reports in a substantive way
only fuels suspicions." [Passage omitted]
Another media advocacy group, Reporters Without Borders, said:
"We find it hard to believe that President Bush really
discussed this possibility. This would be extremely serious
and would constitute a major and unprecedented violation of
the right to information. If this report turns out to be true,
it offers a new insight into the motives of the US forces, which
have already bombed Al-Jazeera offices twice, in Afghanistan
"The staff of Al-Jazeera have decided to organize on Thursday
a symbolic sit-in in front of the headquarters of the channel
in Doha and its overseas bureaus to protest against this news,"
said Al-Jazeera journalist Yussuf al-Shuli, who is also vice-president
of the Arab Association for the Defence of Journalists.
About 100 of the channel's journalists and employees have signed
a petition calling on the broadcaster's board of governors to
hold an official inquiry into the allegations.
They also demanded an immediate end "to attacks and incitement
against Al-Jazeera and its employees," and called for "the
opening of an inquiry into the bombing of Al-Jazeera's offices
in Kabul and Baghdad". [Passage omitted] Source: Aljazeera.net
website, Doha, in English 0748 gmt 24 Nov 05
Al-Jazeera staff stage sit-in, call for investigation into alleged
Al-Jazeera staff in Doha and abroad are currently staging a
sit-in calling for an investigation of the report by Britain's
Daily Mirror. In a statement, Reporters Without Borders voiced
concern over the report which the Daily Mirror published indicating
that the US president was thinking of bombing the head office
of Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel in Qatar.
The statement added that bombing any media institution during
times of peace is not acceptable and cannot be justified. Reporters
Without Borders said that establishing the authenticity of what
has been published would provide new proof regarding the motives
of the US forces which previously bombed the offices of Al-Jazeera
in Afghanistan and Iraq. Source: Al-Jazeera TV, Doha
Qatar/USA/UK: Editorial slams Arab media's response to reported
US plan to bomb
Arabic television stations did not show the interest that was
expected of them in a British document, which revealed a US
plan to bomb the Al-Jazeera satellite television channel. Most
Arabic newspapers totally ignored the report, showing disarray
in the Arab media, including radio and television. It also shows
their total submission to government authorities, which harbour
hatred of Al-Jazeera, and would have liked President George
Bush to have carried out his threats and erase this Arabic station
from existence along with its employees.
The British media showed great interest in this issue, not because
they are biased towards the Al-Jazeera channel, but because
they hold the view that striking a television channel, regardless
of its identity, is a serious action that contravenes all moral
and legal norms and sets a serious precedent. This is especially
true in light of the fact that those who planned this crime
claim that they seek to spread Western values and say they lead
the free world and seek to spread democracy and freedom of expression.
The Arab media were expected to take a more powerful position
on this grave issue than their British counterparts. However,
their reactions were very disappointing. The majority of these
media were silent and ignored the matter, as if the issue was
of no concern to them.
Professional competition does not breach solidarity with more
than 400 journalists working at the Al-Jazeera channel, who
would have been bombed and killed, exactly as was the case with
their colleague, Tariq Ayyub, who was martyred in a US bombing
of the Al-Jazeera office in Baghdad.
On the other hand, disagreement with the station's administration
does not mean that others should gloat over US threats, the
aim of which are to terrorize Arab media.
The document, which contained this terrorist plot, is true.
The US administration did not deny what the British newspaper,
The Daily Mirror, revealed. It just refused to comment on the
Meanwhile, the British Attorney-General sent a memorandum warning
British media chiefs that he would use the courts if they publish
detailed reports related to the document, on the grounds that
such a step would breach the Official Secrets Act.
Al-Jazeera acquired great credibility among Arab viewers because
it was eager to publish the greatest number of facts about the
US aggression against Iraq and discussed issues that were taboo
in the Arab media, such as corruption, dictatorship and human
rights violations. It also gave airtime for Arab opposition
parties to highlight their views. This stand placed Al-Jazeera
in confrontation with an alliance consisting of the United States
and its men in the Iraqi government on the one hand and most
Arab regimes on the other.
What is certain, however, is that Al-Jazeera emerged as the
main winner from the revelation of this secret document, which
exposed the Bush administration's lies about democracy and freedoms
of the media. Other Arabic television stations and media would
have gained too, had they shown solidarity with Al-Jazeera against
this flagrant US terrorism.
This shameful silence towards a plan to bomb an Arabic television
station is yet another confirmation that there is only one chief
editor for most Arab media. He sits in the White House, if not
in the Defence Department, the Pentagon. Source: Al-Quds al-Arabi,
London, in Arabic 24 Nov 05
Jordan: Press Association concerns over alleged US Al-Jazeera
The Jordan Press Association (JPA) on Thursday [24 November]
voiced concern over foreign press reports that the US planned
to bomb the headquarters of the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera satellite
channel and some of its international offices.
The JPA board, chaired by the association's president Tariq
Mumani, said should the report prove to be authentic it would
be regarded as "a crime against mankind" and a flagrant
violation of international laws protecting journalists and media
institutions. Source: Jordan Times, Ammanin
Afghan religious scholars demand death penalty for blasphemy
[Presenter] The Kandahar council of religious scholars held
a meeting yesterday [26 November] and told the government that
if Ali Mohaqeq Nasab [editor--in-chief of publication accused
of blasphemy] does not repent, he should be executed.
Those attending the meeting also asked the government to establish
seminaries for religious students in the country.
[Correspondent] Scholars said to the government at a meeting
on Saturday [26 November] that if Ali Mohaqeq Nasab does not
repent, he should be sentenced to death. [Voice of a member
of Kandahar Scholar Council indistinct]