Alhurra and Radio Sawa Cover the Algerian Presidential Elections

Algeria2When Algerians went to the polls on April 17, Alhurra and Radio Sawa expanded their election coverage to give audiences the latest updates from the race along with context, analysis and audience views.

Alhurra extended its 30-minute newscasts to an hour to accommodate its comprehensive election day coverage, including profiles of – and interviews with – a majority of the candidates, in-depth reports on the main voter issues, and reactions from the voters themselves. The network also had live coverage of the announcement that Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika won a fourth term.

In the week leading up to the elections, Alhurra covered reports that President Bouteflika was expected to win, as well as concerns that voter fraud would have a hand in his victory and the growing number of calls to boycott the vote. Alhurra reported on the impact of Algerian youth and women – as well as the increasing use of social media – on the election. The network showcased the impact of the new social and political movements in the country,and invited Algerian political analysts on the daily talk show Free Hour to discuss their expectations for outcome and impact of the election.

Radio Sawa secured key newsmaker interviews including with former Algerian Prime Minister Ahmad Ben Bitoor, and  representatives from the Bouteflika, Rabaaeen and Benflis’ campaigns to discuss their candidates’ positions.  Radio Sawa covered the Baraka (“Enough”) movement’s opposition to the incumbant president and their calls for a radical regime change in the country.  The network also reported on security preparations for the election, and the calls by some groups to boycott the vote. looked at the American reaction to the Algerian election.  U.S. foreign policy experts were interviewed on U.S.-Algerian relations.  An online poll asked readers how much of an impact boycotters would have on the Algerian election. Web coverage included additional context such as views from leaders of the major Algerian parties and analysis of potential political changes after the April 17 election.