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


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