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Radio Sawa: The Creation of a New U.S. Government Arabic Service
Unformatted Document Text:  especially since the research targeted young listeners that liked both Western and Arabic music, rather than a random sample of this age group. Will future BBG surveys ask questions, and release data, about possible attitude change toward the United States as the result of listening to Radio Sawa? Discussion Perhaps the most interesting development regarding Radio Sawa is that is was created. With the exception of VOA Europe from the 1980s, Radio Sawa is not something the U.S. broadcasting bureaucracy is very prone to do. The old VOA Arabic Service was indeed dated and never had a chance against the BBC and RMCME, if for no other reason than the two stations had an enormous transmission advantage, both regarding powerful mediumwave stations and local FM rebroadcasts. Radio Sawa may have come along at the right time. The events of September 11, 2001, did not motivate the creation of Radio Sawa. However, in Washington the belief after September 11 that the U.S. had to do something dramatic to address what was believed to be misunderstanding, if not outright hatred, of the United States in the Arab world moved both Congress and the White House to fund Radio Sawa generously. The impact of Radio Sawa will not be known for several years. More mediumwave transmission signal strength, but only for those especially motivated to listen. There is a great deal of high-quality FM broadcasting in the Arab world, and, as is the case in the West, most new cars and many homes of the target audience have FM receivers. Like most of us, those in the Middle East are accustomed to the high quality of stereo CDs and FM. Mediumwave in the Arab world, as in the West, has become associated with the transmission of speech. If Radio Sawa is to be attractive to an Arab audience, it will need a large number of FM outlets in the region. Further, the countries that we are especially interested in reaching--Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, and Algeria--have refused overtures to purchase local rebroadcasting rights and are unlikely to capitulate, if for no other reason than to protect local radio monopolies. And if this is the case, the mediumwave transmitters will become the workhorses of Radio Sawa. These will be audible

Authors: Boyd, Douglas.
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especially since the research targeted young listeners that liked both Western and Arabic
music, rather than a random sample of this age group. Will future BBG surveys ask
questions, and release data, about possible attitude change toward the United States as the
result of listening to Radio Sawa?
Discussion
Perhaps the most interesting development regarding Radio Sawa is that is was created.
With the exception of VOA Europe from the 1980s, Radio Sawa is not something the U.S.
broadcasting bureaucracy is very prone to do. The old VOA Arabic Service was indeed
dated and never had a chance against the BBC and RMCME, if for no other reason than the
two stations had an enormous transmission advantage, both regarding powerful
mediumwave stations and local FM rebroadcasts.
Radio Sawa may have come along at the right time. The events of September 11, 2001,
did not motivate the creation of Radio Sawa. However, in Washington the belief after
September 11 that the U.S. had to do something dramatic to address what was believed to
be misunderstanding, if not outright hatred, of the United States in the Arab world moved
both Congress and the White House to fund Radio Sawa generously.
The impact of Radio Sawa will not be known for several years. More mediumwave
transmission signal strength, but only for those especially motivated to listen. There is a
great deal of high-quality FM broadcasting in the Arab world, and, as is the case in the West,
most new cars and many homes of the target audience have FM receivers. Like most of us,
those in the Middle East are accustomed to the high quality of stereo CDs and FM.
Mediumwave in the Arab world, as in the West, has become associated with the
transmission of speech. If Radio Sawa is to be attractive to an Arab audience, it will need a
large number of FM outlets in the region. Further, the countries that we are especially
interested in reaching--Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, and Algeria--have
refused overtures to purchase local rebroadcasting rights and are unlikely to capitulate, if for
no other reason than to protect local radio monopolies. And if this is the case, the
mediumwave transmitters will become the workhorses of Radio Sawa. These will be audible


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