international broadcasting

"The success of any moral enterprise does not depend upon numbers," said American social reformer William Lloyd Garrison some 150 years ago. But times have changed.

CAIRO - Those new monitors they're installing in Washington briefing rooms will remain dark for a little while longer: Al-Jazeera International (AJI), the English-language cousin to the Bush administration's Qatar-based nemesis, has once more delayed its launch plans.

The latest monthly television ratings in Saudi Arabia by the independent pollster IPSOS-STAT show al-Arabiya dramatically widening its lead over al-Jazeera as the number one satellite television news outlet for the Middle East.

"[T]hrough the press section of USIS that the Communist parties themselves represented at the Moscow Congress have come to know one of the most serious and dramatic documents in the Communist literature of the world."

--Pietro Nenni, Secretary General, Italian Socialist Party, 1957

In the classic 1957 film "The Incredible Shrinking Man," the character played by actor Grant Williams is enveloped by curious fog while anchored on his small boat. Within days, his clothes begin to loosen and he gets smaller by the hour. "I was continuing to shrink, to become…what? Would others follow me?" he wondered.

Yes, others would follow. The Voice of America would follow.

Iskra Kirova also provided invaluable research support for this report.

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February 23, 2006

Penn Kemble: Public Diplomat, political campaigner and international pro-democracy activist

Worldcasting has obtained exclusive comparative independent television ratings that document a steady decline in Al Jazeera's popularity among viewers in Saudi Arabia over a one-year period. That country is the most important television market in the region; 70 percent of the region's television advertising is spent there.

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