Radio Sawa gets popular in the Middle East: survey

Radio Sawa, the US Government-funded Arabic language station is reported to be the leading international broadcaster in all Middle Eastern countries surveyed, according to an ACNielsen survey.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  October 14, 2003

Radio Sawa, the US Government-funded Arabic language station is reported to be the leading international broadcaster in all Middle Eastern countries surveyed, according to an ACNielsen survey. The report is based on a survey conducted during July and August 2003 in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

According to the survey, Radio Sawa, which was launched in March 2002, has an average rate of 31.6% listeners among the general population that is 15 years and older. Egypt has a lower rate of listeners at 10.6% than Jordan at 30.4%, the UAE at 36.6%, Kuwait at 39.5% and Qatar at 40.8%.

Radio Sawa was conceived as part of US efforts to be viewed in a more friendly fashion by Arab nations. "The success of Radio Sawa reminds us that young Arabs simply are not hostile to the West," says Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees all US international, nonmilitary broadcasting. "Just as people the world over, Arab citizens want accurate news and provocative current affairs programming," he adds.

Norman Pattiz, chairman of the BBG's Middle East Committee adds that Radio Sawa is dedicated to "providing accurate, reliable and credible news and information" as a result of which it attracts "a huge listening audience in the Middle East."

The survey is based on face-to-face interviews that were conducted in Arabic with 5,737 people over the age of 15.

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