Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, it is our pleasure to be here today to speak to the role of U.S. international broadcasting in advancing U.S. national interests.
Just a few months ago in Tahrir Square, a nascent democratic movement that started in Tunisia blossomed on the streets of Cairo. Citizens took to the square to air their political and economic demands for change and justice.
The Arab-speaking world saw and heard the events unfold through reporters from Alhurra Television, on the scene and on the air, 19 hours a day, providing live coverage of these historical events. Radio Sawa’s Egyptian stream expanded its newscasts to provide in-depth information on the latest news from Cairo, interviews with U.S. officials, demonstrators in the square, and noted analysts from U.S. and Middle Eastern human rights organizations and think tanks.
At the height of the demonstrations, pro-Mubarak protesters targeted international journalists, including those of Alhurra. They passed out flyers in the streets, naming Alhurra, saying “we are going to kick you out of Egypt.” Thugs came to the Alhurra news studio in Cairo, threatening the journalists with bodily harm, and told them to leave. Alhurra’s correspondents quickly relocated to another facility and continued reporting. For a time, as these threats against journalists continued, Alhurra was the only international satellite news network to broadca… >>>