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Information & News


The accession of H.H Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa AI Thani to the reins of power in the country is considered to be a turning point in the history of establishing the basis for freedom, democracy and public participation in the State of Qatar.
Following his accession to power in 1995, H.H. the Emir has been working to provide more chances for the freedom of expression. He lifted media censorship and abolished the Ministry of Information, some of whose responsibilities and departments were either referred to other establishments or transformed into independent bodies such as the National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage and Qatar General Broadcasting and Television Corporation.
Qatar TV Satellite Channel went on the air in December 1998 and Al-Jazeerah Satellite TV Channel started transmitting from Qatar in November 1996. The local press has flourished in recent years, benefiting from the prevailing democratic atmosphere and available incentives for growth and now covers all social and economic areas of interest. These publications are independent entities issued by private publishing houses with their own modern presses and successful investments.
A press and publications law, which was issued in 1979 and has been bypassed by the new political and information developments witnessed by the country in recent years, is presently being updated. The new press and publications law is expected to be more flexible in line with the new trend of democratization and freedom of expression being nurtured in the country.


The Qatari Media
The Qatari media continues its conscientious efforts to carry out its mission of fostering civil society. Its role is to highlight Qatar's contemporary developments reflect its genuine Arabian and Islamic heritage and morals. The Qatari media also advocates national as well as Gulf, Arab and Islamic causes.


Qatar General Broadcasting and Television Corporation
The law establishing Qatar General Broadcasting and Television Corporation was issued in May 1997. It stipulated that the Corporation has an autonomous government budget and is under the direct authority of the Council of Ministers. The Corporation aims to uphold the mission of safeguarding the freedom of the society and helping attain the common goals within the parameters of the general policy of the State, and in line with the latest scientific developments of the time.
The Corporation is responsible for the following:
Establishing and owning audio and audio-visual broadcasting stations in the country.
Supervising content of broadcast audio and audio-visual material in accordance with the guidelines adopted by the Corporation.
Planning, developing, producing, recording, preparing, providing and presenting local and international programs, and marketing thereof through selling or leasing inside the country and abroad.
Conserving and giving prominence to the national heritage.
Providing audio and audio-visual coverage of the State's activities inside and outside the country.
The Corporation has a board of directors comprising a chairman, deputy chairman and membership of a representative from some ministries and other government bodies.
The Corporation is composed of the following administrative units:
Broadcasting Department, Television Department, Financial and Administrative Affairs Department, Department of Publications, Qatar News Agency and Foreign Information Agency.


Qatar Broadcasting Service (QBS)
Radio transmission in the state of Qatar started in 1968. It now presents various services including the general Arabic language program, the Holy Quraan program, the English program, the French program, the Urdu program and Sout al-Khaleej (the Voice of the Gulf) program.
In 2000 QBS modernized its studios by introducing digital systems.. A modern digital microwave system was installed to connect studios to transmission stations, notably the new 200-kilowatt al-Areesh transmission station. Audio broadcasting is done both in digital and analog modes by satellites.
The English Program of QBS was launched in 1971 on a medium wave, which was later supplemented with an FM and a third medium wave. In 1981 transmission time of this program reached 18 hours a day.
The Urdu program was launched in 1980 with two hours of daily transmission.
The French Program was introduced in January 1985 with a daily three hours transmission on a medium wave. It serves the French speaking community living in the country.
The Holy Quraan Program, an educational and guidance program started transmission in 1992.
Sout al-Khaleej (Voice of the Gulf) Program launched in 2002. This musical program broadcasts round the clock.


Qatar Television (QTV)
QTV started its first phase of transmission in 1970 in black and white. Color transmission started in 1974. The English language Channel, the second channel, started in 1982. QTV has more than 25 hours of daily transmission on channels (9 and I I) and (37).
QTV continues its efforts to deliver its informational message to all sectors of the society. Programs target youths and children and reflect the prevailing trends in the society and address its cultural, traditional and social issues and concerns. Programming also includes scientific, sports, heritage, historical and religious programs.
In the past few years QTV has realized a number of accomplishments, the most important of which include installing a graphics system; producing a number of local programs and drama serials; finalizing and financing a comprehensive modernization plan for engineering sections; allocating QR5 million to upgrade studio I and the news studio, which already has a good inventory of computers in its modern news room, and purchasing a new outdoors transmission vehicle.
QTV has organized 3 well-received musical festivals. Future projects of QTV include introducing digital transmission in the first and second channels and modernizing news studios No 4 and No I.


Qatar Satellite Channel (QSC)
QTV Satellite Transmission started in 1998 and currently transmits 18 hours daily.
QSC presents well-balanced programs that combine information, education and entertainment, using the most advanced equipment and technologies and the expertise of the Qatari youths and others in the field of information.
QSC depends for its program and news coverage on several information sources including audiovisual information agencies, ARABSAT network and news and information exchange links with Arabic and international channels.
QSC channel has produced a string of distinguished award-winning dramatic works, which were broadcast through QSC and other Arab and Gulf screens.


The Second Channel
Through 10 hours of continuous transmission, the Second Channel broadcasts the latest foreign drama serials and films and presents a daily news bulletin in English and a weekly news bulletin in French The Second Channel also airs specialized sports programs and live coverage of all sporting events held in the country or abroad.


The Department of Publications
The Department of Publications is affiliated with the Qatar General Broadcasting and Television Corporation. The press and publication law No 8 of 1979 assigned this department a number of organizational and supervision responsibilities pertaining to the activities of publication and press in the country. Those responsibilities include organizing and providing facilities to issue newspapers, newsletters and other publications in accordance with the law, and issuing press badges to locally-based journalists.
The Department was also assigned the role of applying culturally appropriate content controls over the local and foreign publications and artistic production; approving the issue and distribution of publications and press releases of the diplomatic and consular missions accredited to the State of Qatar in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Department of Publications issues licenses for publications, journalists, publishing houses, publicity, advertisement, artistic production and public relations agencies, the import of publications, exporting and distributing establishments and shops selling and circulating artistic production.


Qatar New Agency (QNA)
Since it was first established on the 25th of May 1975, QNA has been extending its news services throughout the Gulf and the Arab world. QNA transmits for a continuous daily period of 18 hours from 7am to well beyond midnight and sometimes round the clock when news developments so require. It transmits various services in Arabic, English, Spanish and Portuguese through its worldwide network.
QNA presents its information services through its main daily news bulletins of about 150 items issued from the central editing office. The bulletin covers official and unofficial local news as well as the news and events on the Gulf, Arab and international arenas, observing complete objectivity and accuracy in its news handling and coverage.
The general news bulletin depends mainly on the private sources of QNA including a network of 18 correspondents based in the most important Arab and foreign capitals. The correspondents provide the Agency's central office with the major news items and reports on events in their areas of duty.
Specialized news bulletins were added to the Agency's services, including the economic bulletin, which deals with local, regional, Arab and international economic activities;, a cultural newsletter and the daily sports newsletter.


Foreign Information Agency (FIA)
FIA was set up in 2001 to take up the responsibility of introducing Qatar to the world, highlighting its achievements, establishing good working relations with various information establishments abroad through advanced and versatile communication means and managing the affairs of the representatives of foreign media, who are either based in the country or visiting.


AI-Jazeera TV Satellite Channel
Aljazeera has come a long way since it was launched in November 1996.
Today the channel that sent shockwaves through the whole Arab world from its very first day on air has become a global name which people, governments, and decision-makers cannot afford to ignore.
With more than 30 bureaus and dozens of correspondents covering the four corners of the world Aljazeera has given millions of people a refreshing new perspective on global events.
Free from the shackles of censorship and government control Aljazeera has offered its audiences in the Arab world much needed freedom of thought, independence, and room for debate. In the rest of the world, often dominated by the stereotypical thinking of news "heavyweights", Aljazeera offers a different and a new perspective.
Aljazeera's correspondents opened a window for the world on the millennium's first two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our expanded coverage competed with and sometimes outperformed our competitors bringing into the spotlight the war's devastating impact on the lives of ordinary people.
We continue to cover all viewpoints with objectivity integrity and balance.

So now when Aljazeera speaks, the world listens and "reads".
Aljazeera.net is the online version of the same Aljazeera.
In January 2001, Aljazeera.net (Arabic) was launched as the first mainstream Arabic news site and in no time, it rose to the top of the Arab media. In 2002, Aljazeera.net (Arabic) received more than 811 million impressions and 161 million visits.
Boiling topics and heated debates along with objective news reporting and interactive feedback are the attributes that put Aljazeera.net amongst the 50 most visited sites worldwide.
Yet more is to come with Aljazeera.net's latest Arabic version. The new design is a first step towards the creation of an integrated network of Aljazeera websites. The upgrade is designed to offer the visitor four sources of online information: News, Knowledge, Channel, and Business.
The four sites are integrated through a portal that shows the latest and most important content in each site.
News is an Arabic news site which offers comprehensive coverage of world affairs and developments.
Knowledge offers an in-depth view of what goes on beyond the daily flow of news through analysis, research, and comprehensive studies.
The Channel is Aljazeera's special site. It shows the channel's latest developments and keeps a complete record of what it produces in a huge database that is made available to the audience.
Business is Aljazeera's electronic marketing tool selling web services and the channel's various productions.


The Qatari Press
The Qatari press started early in the 1960s.. The initiative came from the government when it issued in 1961 the first official gazette, in which laws and Emiri decrees were published. Towards the end of 1969 the phenomenon of issuing government publications started to become widespread. The Ministry of Information issued 'Doha' magazine in 1969 and the Ministry of Education issued a specialized educational magazine in 1970 entitled 'Education'.


The Private Press
Private press started to appear since 1970. Al-Urooba Press and Publishing Organization issued the first political weekly magazine, al-Urooba, of which the first edition was issued in 1970. After Urooba, Abdullah Hussein Nima issued the political daily al-Arab newspaper in 1972. Abdullah Youssef al Husseini, the owner of al-Ahd Press and Publishing Organization issued the political weekly magazine 'al-Ahd' in 1974. The first women's monthly magazine in Qatar, al-Jawhara, was issued in January 1977, and the sporting weekly magazine 'Al Dawri' was issued in April 1978. In December 1978, Gulf Publishing and Printing Company issued the first English language daily newspaper, Gulf Times, which was started as a weekly newspaper before it turned into a daily in 1981. Then the same publishing house issued the Arabic language 'Al Rayah' newspaper in1979, which continued to issue as a weekly until the 27th of January 1980 when it turned into a daily.
A new economic magazine appeared in the field, Aswaq al-Khaleej, which was first issued in 1980 as a monthly until it became a weekly in 1983. 'This is Qatar', is an English language periodical tourist magazine issued by one of the local public relations agencies, and 'Dohat Al-jamee', which is issued by Attabba public relations agency.
Some of the associations, societies and sporting establishments and clubs issue internal publications for their individual members. Qatar Red Crescent Association Issues 'al-Ata' magazine and Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry issues 'Ghurfat Tijarat Qatar'. Other publications also issue from sporting clubs.
The private press deals with various areas of interest ranging from political, economic, sporting and women matters and has a diverse publication frequency, issuing as dailies, weeklies and monthlies. Press establishments used to receive government direct and indirect financial support at the beginning, but that was stopped in 1995 to provide the chance for the press to develop on its own resources and thus be in a better position to safeguard its independence.
Those publications play their part in expressing the aspirations and ambitions of Qatari society. They provide a tolerant platform for many young journalistic talents, who have objectively handled most of the hot political issues in the Arab and international domains.


Government Press Publications
After being limited by only two magazines early in the 1970s, government press publications brought other titles to the field. In 1977 the Ministry of Defense supervised the issue of a monthly sporting magazine named 'alSagr', which was later turned into a weekly before it ceased publication in 1986 and resumed publication in 2001. Qatar General Petroleum Corporation (now Qatar Petroleum) issued in 1977 'al-Mashal' magazine, which specializes in petroleum matters and covered its publisher's affairs and activities. Qatar National Museum issues 'al-Rayyan', a non-periodical scientific magazine on with museums and archeology.
The Ministry of Public Health issued in 1980 the English language periodical 'al-Majalla alTibbiyya', specializing in health matters. Qatar University journalism students at the Faculty of Humanities' Arabic Language Department issued a monthly magazine entitled 'Sout al-Umma' in March 1981. The Female Graduates Office also issued a periodical magazine named 'al-Jami'iyya' in May 1981.
There are 8 government publications, most of which are specialized. Some of these publications play a distinguished role, notably, al-Umma, al-Doha and al-Sagr, each of which sell more than 70 thousand copies abroad. The publications targeting the interests of children and young readers, 'Hamad was Sahara and 'Masha'il' were issued in 1987. The motor magazine, al-Sayyara, was issued in the same year. The tourist publication, al-Murshid, was issued in 1983.

Qatar Contacts

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