New Survey Numbers Confirm Radio Sawa’s Growth and Popularity in the Middle East

Washington, D.C., September 25, 2003 – Radio Sawa, the U.S. Government-funded Arabic language station, is the leading international broadcaster in all Middle Eastern countries surveyed, according to an ACNielsen survey released today.

The station also scores high as a reliable source of news and is popular with all social classes, the survey said.

The survey, conducted in five countries in July and August 2003, showed that Radio Sawa, launched in March 2002, has an average listenership of 31.6 percent among the general population 15 years and older. Listener rates in five countries were: Egypt 10.6 percent; Jordan, 30.4 percent; Kuwait, 39.5 percent; Qatar, 40.8 percent and United Arab Emirates (UAE), 36.6 percent.

“The success of Radio Sawa reminds us that young Arabs simply are not hostile to the West,” said Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees all U.S. international, nonmilitary broadcasting. “Just as people the world over, Arab citizens want accurate news and provocative current affairs programming,” he said. “The truth will out.”

Added Norman J. Pattiz, chairman of the BBG’s Middle East Committee: “Radio Sawa proves beyond a doubt that a radio station funded by the taxpayers of the United States, providing accurate, reliable and credible news and information, can attract a huge listening audience in the Middle East.

Pattiz, a driving force behind the creation of Radio Sawa, said, “By using proven 21st Century Western broadcasting techniques, Sawa is the foremost example of ‘marrying the mission to the market,’ the primary focus of the BBG’s strategic plan.”

The survey also showed Radio Sawa: