Iraq – General Information – Script (en)

The Iraqi media have changed a lot in the aftermath of 2003, especially the widespread of newspapers and the freedom of publishing, in the absence of any regulations.

And after the diminishing of the copyright regulations, which were prevalent in Iraq under Saddam’s regime, and the decision of the head of civil administration, Bremer, to dismantle the ministry of information, which was responsible for regulating the copyright in IrThe “Iraqi Media Network” was established. It was a semi-governmental institution that adopted the publishing of a daily newspaper called “Alsabah”, other TV and Radio channels, and some other print media. The head of this network is appointed by the Prime Minister, and it is directly subject to the government.

“Alsabah” newspaper is the most important newspaper in Iraq, considering the big financial support it receives from the government, and it’s viewed by the population as the official mouthpiece of the government. This paper makes large profits due to its monopoly over the governmental ads. It was established in 19.5.2003, its first chief editor was Ismail Zayer, and it’s still published until today.

The second most popular newspaper is “Azzaman” and it’s an international Iraqi paper, published by “Azzaman Institute for Journalism and Publishing”. Its founder and head of its board is Saa’d Albazzaz. Its first trial edition was published in 1.4.1998 in London. Later on, a first-in Iraq-edition was published in Basra province in 9.4.2003 following the American invasion. The paper is printed with “The Basra edition” stamp on its first page as it was published in Bahrain and distributed in Basra. Its chief editor is Dr. Ahmad Abd Elmajid.

Then comes “Almada” newspaper, which is an independent newspaper, published by “Almada Institute for Culture and Arts”, founded by Fakhri Karim. Its first edition was published in 5.8.2003. It started to issue twice a week, and later it became a daily. The institution has a private printing house, a publish house and an advertising company. Almada started as an Arab magazine, featuring many of prominent Arab intellectuals.

There is another newspaper called “Al-Ittihad Al-Kurdistani”. It is a political daily, that it belongs to the Kurdish National Union. It is the first Kurdish paper published in Arabic in the Kurdish part of Iraq. Its first edition was published in 24.10.1992 in the Erbil governorate, and one of its main missions was to defend the Kurds’ rights in Iraq. After the invasion of Iraq in 2003, “Al-Ittihad” became the first Iraqi newspapers to be published in Baghdad, it was in 22.4.2003 and it was its 539 edition.

As for the radios, “Radio Dijla” is considered the first commercial radio station in Iraq, which adopted the format of “call in” programs, regardless of the listeners political, ideological, partisan, ethnic, or religious affiliation. It was established in 2004 by the journalist Ahmad Al-Ruqabi.

Radio “Almutamar” was founded in 2005 with the direct guidance and financing of the politician Ahmed Jalabi, head of the National Congress. It is a secular radio station that promotes democracy and the agenda of its owner. Its CEO is Entifad Qanbar, and it broadcasts from Baghdad.

As for the TV satellite channels, “Al Iraqiya” channel was the first semi-official Iraqi channel, that belongs to the Iraqi Media Network. Its programs are diverse, including entertainment, sports, cultural, religious, development and political. A department for drama production was established, which had produced many drama productions that were screened on the “Iraqiya”.

“Al Sharqiya” channel is an Iraqi satellite channel that started the broadcast in 4.5.2004 from Dubai, Erbil, London and Amman, on Satellites Arabsat, Nilesat and Hotbird.

Al Sharqiya is the first Iraqi channel owned by the private sector and has reporters in different countries around the world.

It is considered the most watched Iraqi channel and has one of the most financial and human capacities in the Arab world. It relies on commercial advertising and owned by the prominent media figure, Saa’d Albazzaz.

“Al Baghdadia” is another Iraqi satellite channel based in Cairo. It started to broadcast in 12.9.2005, owned and founded by A’wn Hussain Alkhashluk. Some of its reporters were killed during the violent events in Iraq. It has offices in Amman and Damascus, and licensed in Beirut, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands and Australia.

“Afaq” satellite channel, belongs to the “Islamic Da’wa party”, headed by Nouri al-Malki.

“Alforat” satellite channel, belongs to the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, headed by Sayed Ammar al-Hakim.

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