Senator proposes Muslim media blitz

A US senator has called for an expansion in American radio and television broadcasts around the Muslim world to repair the country's 'image problem'.

    Biden wants to challenge the likes of Aljazeera

    Senator Joe Biden on Wednesday said such broadcasts would help correct "a bastardisation of US views by Aljazeera and many other Arab networks".

    "It's hardly a secret that we have more than an image problem overseas. The fact of the matter is there are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world who seem not to understand our motives and our intentions," Biden, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said.

    "I am proposing an ambitious…and substantial increase in our international broadcasting to countries with significant Muslim populations," he said.

    Build on success 

    "The plan that I put forward…calls for a significant expansion of radio and television broadcasts to the Muslim world outside the Middle East – in Central Asia, East Asia and East and West Africa".

    The senator estimated the startup cost of his proposal would be some $250 million, with an additional $345 million per year to keep the programme going.

    He said similar initiatives have been 'a gigantic success' – including the seven-month old Radio Sawa, which Biden called 'a leading international broadcasting entity now in the Middle East'.

    "A survey conducted in Morocco earlier this year shows that in Casablanca and Rabat, Radio Sawa is the number one station among all listeners over the age of 15," Biden said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?