Middle East

Egypt this week pulled the plug on al-Zawraa, the controversial channel controlled by Iraq's Sunni insurgency, but it is still available across the Middle East thanks to America's Gulf allies.

The channel broadcasts non-stop footage of attacks on U.S. troops interwoven with verbal attacks on Iran and Shiites, like Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who it accuses of being loyal to Iran. Since its launch in mid-November, al-Zawraa has been distributed by Nilesat, a satellite provider controlled by the Egyptian government.

(Cairo) -- A controversial TV channel that is the voice of Iraq's anti-American insurgents look set to launch another front in the propaganda war against the U.S.

The head of al-Zawraa, which airs footage produced by the Islamic Army of Iraq, says he has finalized a deal for the channel to be distributed on three European satellites, including one seen by American viewers.

The move comes as U.S. officials are pressing Egypt to stop transmitting the channel via its Nilesat satellite.

(Cairo) Sunni-Shia power politics and U.S.-Egyptian relations have come head-to-head in a dispute over a satellite television station that is the latest weapon in the arsenal of Iraq’s insurgents.

Al-Zawraa, a television version of the now-infamous jihadi websites, is being broadcast across the Arab world by Nilesat, a satellite provider answerable to the Egyptian government. The Iraqi station features non-stop scenes of U.S. troops being picked off by snipers, blown up by roadside bombs and targeted by missiles.

(Cairo) -- Bad news is often good news for journalists. Last week's assassination of Lebanese opposition leader Pierre Gemayel may have been exactly that for al-Jazeera English, the Westernized cousin of the channel the Bush administration loves to hate.

It may be too soon to tell, but it appears that Al Jazeera's plans to go public may have suffered a severe setback when its long awaited English channel failed to achieve major distribution into American homes following its November 15 debut.

Al Jazeera International has come up short thus far in its biggest effort yet to transform its maverick Middle East brand into an attractive worldwide public business investment.

In what can only be described as anti-climactic, Al Jazeera International is starting its English channel broadcasts to North America November 15 with a whimper, rather than the desired flourish. After failing to meet several self-appointed inaugural air dates over the past year, the controversial Arabic TV channel kicked off its service to the U.S. via bottom-tier, off-the-beaten-track delivery services on which Al Jazeera International's audience in America will be miniscule to start.

USC Ph.D candidate Jade Miller argues that Hezbollah is public diplomacy’s biggest winner in the ongoing Middle East dispute. She also notes the actions associated with each party involved in the conflict.

The media has chosen sides in the Israel-Hezbollah War, and much is ugly.

Some errant media players have emerged. One is a behemoth news service, whose products -- including newspaper and TV news reports -- have an audience of many millions worldwide. Another is a world-renowned news brand, whose reports are said to be biased. Then there is someone from a major daily newspaper promoting a book, and saying really stupid things. But there are those who boldly set the record straight in their reports.

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