(Springfield, Va., Nov. 10, 2011) Alhurra’s coverage of the Egyptian Revolution won the People’s Choice Award in the Association for International Broadcasting’s 2011 Media Excellence Awards. This year’s People’s Choice Award highlighted the best international broadcast coverage of the democratic uprisings and the Arab Spring. Online voters named Alhurra’s coverage the best of the six finalists which included Al Jazeera English, Deutsche Welle, Press TV, NDTV and France 24.
“We are very excited about winning the AIB’s People’s Choice Award, especially for Alhurra’s coverage of the Egyptian Revolution. This award highlights the excellent work of Alhurra’s dedicated team in Egypt, as well as the tireless and professional efforts of everyone who worked behind the scenes,” stated MBN President Brian Conniff.
From the first day of the Egyptian Revolution, Alhurra provided eyewitness reporting of the historical events with accurate and objective news in an environment swirling with rumors and chaos. The network had insightful analysis from officials and commentators interpreting events as they unfolded. Alhurra also offered audiences the American perspective on the Revolution – both the official Administration position as well as reaction from the diverse voices found throughout the broad public policy community.
Alhurra not only covered the events in Tahrir Square but also provided behind the scenes reports outside of the square, such as Christians and Muslims in Alexandria working together to protect each other’s places of worship during the demonstrations. There was also a profile of Rami who was killed during the demonstrations; Alhurra spoke with his family and went to his home to learn more about Rami’s reasons for protesting.
When pro-Mubarak protesters targeted international journalists, Alhurra was no exception. Flyers were passed out in the streets, naming Alhurra, and other news organizations, saying “we are going to kick you out of Egypt.” Thugs also came to the Alhurra news studio in Cairo, threatened the journalists, calling them by name, and told them to leave. At times, because of their courage and ingenuity, Alhurra correspondents were the only Arab-language news organization to continue broadcasting live from Cairo.
Following the Egyptian Revolution, Alhurra’s weekly audience in Egypt jumped to nearly 8 million viewers according to the international research firm ACNielsen. The network’s viewership in Egypt rose from 3.9 million (7.5 percent) in 2010 to 7.7 million (14.7 percent) in the 2011. Ninety-three percent of network’s audience said they found the news to be credible.
Alhurra is broadcast on the Nilesat and Arabsat satellites in the Middle East. Alhurra is operated by the non-profit corporation “The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.” (MBN). MBN is financed by the U.S. Government through a grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent federal agency. The BBG serves oversight and as a firewall to protect the professional independence and integrity of the broadcasters. For more information on Alhurra visit www.alhurra.com.
Director of Communications
Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.