24-Hour Mideast TV To Promote "Freedom & Democracy"

The White House expects congressional funding to the tune of $64 million for the first-ever, 24-hour Arabic-language satellite television network. "The aim is to provide the Middle East's tens of millions of viewers with an alternative to their usual viewing diet of unremediated anti-American propaganda," the Hill's Melissa Seckora reports. Kenneth Tomlinson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), called the proposed network "the most important public diplomacy initiative of our time." Westwood One media mogul Norman Pattiz, who sits on the BBG and has produced TV news for Iraq, bills the proposed Mid-East TV as a "journalistic mission" to "promote and sustain freedom and democracy," the Hil reports. "We want to give the Arab world an example of what a free press is. We want to do it in a way that is not like the sensationalistic approach taken by the media in that region, one that includes incitement to violence and disinformation," Pattiz said.