In 2003, amid the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Iran launched an Arabic satellite channel specifically targeting Iraqi viewers, called Al Alam [1]. This channel has downplayed the sectarian killings in Iraq and has instead tried to promote a pan-Muslim solution to the conflict [2]. It focuses on news, but also has segments on business, sports, and culture, among other things. Al Alam gained fame in 2007 after Iran seized British sailors that had wandered into Iranian waters. It was the first to show the images of the sailors in captivity in Iran, and indicated a desire by the Iranian government to speak directly to Arabs (and not to the West or to Iran’s people). Al Alam can be viewed without a satellite in Iraq, and some reports suggest increasing viewership there [3] [4]. However, a poll conducted in Iraq by CNN and Gallup revealed that about 11 % of Iraqis tune into Al Alam, which was outflanked by other news networks such as Iraqiya, Arabiya, and Al Jazeera [5].

Further Reading

Al-Alam’s Game, Columbia Journalism Review

Relevant Links

Al Alam Website in English

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