Alhurra and Radio Sawa Bring the U.S. Presidential Election to Millions Across the Middle East

Springfield, Va.–On Tuesday, Nov. 6th Alhurra Television will kick off its election coverage at 6 a.m. (all times EST) and continue until a winner is declared. The television network will have correspondents stationed at polling locations across the country including Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Massachusetts, Michigan and Illinois. Alhurra’s continuous coverage will highlight the issues impacting voters’ decisions, such as the economy, jobs, health care and foreign policy; as well as the roll of Arab-Americans and women in the election. Throughout the day, Alhurra will have analysis with Republican and Democratic political experts. The network will also have reaction from Baghdad, Dubai, Amman, Benghazi, Kabul, Jerusalem and Cairo as the U.S. voters take to the polls.

On Election Day, Radio Sawa will expand key newscasts as warranted, and then go live at 9 p.m. and continue throughout the night. Radio Sawa’s correspondents will travel to polling stations in the DC area, New York City and the battleground state of Ohio, to get first hand reaction from voters. Radio Sawa’s Magazine program will also be live to provide in-depth analysis of the elections.

Both Alhurra.com and RadioSawa.com have a special “American Decides” election guide and landing page to provide online audiences with the most up-to-the-minute coverage of the election. Both landing pages have explanatory guides on the Electoral College, presidential timelines, frequently asked questions about the presidential election and live blogs. Additionally, a custom map was designed and updated with the latest polling date from each state and will call the election in real-time.

An important part of this page is the participatory America Decides campaign wall – which curates tweets, Facebook comments, polls and videos asking our audience: Who Is Better for the Middle East – Obama or Romney? The networks are also encouraging discussion by posting the latest election articles on their respective Facebook pages and sending out via Twitter.

“The U.S. presidential election gives Alhurra and Radio Sawa a unique opportunity to put a spotlight on democracy in action,” stated Brian Conniff, President of the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc. “There is a real interest in the U.S. elections in the region and Alhurra and Radio Sawa have cornered the marketplace as the place to turn on Election Night.”

Alhurra and Radio Sawa’s coverage of the elections started long before Nov. 6th, with live reports from the primaries and caucuses of key states. Alhurra also provided live coverage, with simultaneous translations of the presidential and vice presidential debates. Some of the reports in the weeks leading up to Election Day include a look at the importance of Ohio historically on elections; spending the day with an Egyptian, Somali, Sudanese, Algerian and a Palestinian living in Washington and their feelings on the election; the role of political action committees; and a look at the families of each of the candidates.

Alhurra Television also teamed up with MacNeil/Lehrer Productions to co-produce an eight-part documentary series on the 2012 U.S. elections. The Making of Democracy provides viewers with a behind the scenes look at the 2012 elections through stories of candidates, U.S. citizens, Arab-Americans, and others involved in local and national races and will continue to follow them after the election.  Leading up to the election, Alhurra’s weekly series Road to the White House began daily broadcasts that recapped the latest election news and analysis with American political experts.

According to international research firms such as ACNielsen, Alhurra and Radio Sawa have a weekly reach of approximately 31 million people. They are 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 provides oversight and serves as a firewall to protect the professional independence and integrity of the broadcasters.

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