Deutsche Welle has announced that it intends to extend its Arabic television programming from three hours a day to eight hours a day from April 2, 2007.
The newly extended Arabic programming will reach an audience of almost 10 million
"With this extended programming, Deutsche Welle wants to develop, in particular, the reporting from the target regions," said Deutsche Welle's director, Erik Bettermann.
"At the same time, we want to intensify the discussion on social development in the Arab countries and develop the dialogue with people who have an interest in Germany and Europe, as well as promoting the knowledge that we have common as well as different views."
Promoting dialogue, freedom of press and speech
DW Director Erik Bettermann
"In some countries," Bettermann added, "our programming allows people to get to know German and European perspectives on issues, while in other states it performs the role of supporting freedom of the press and freedom of speech and promoting human rights."
DW-TV/Arabic first began broadcasting in August 2002 as part of a Deutsche Welle strategic investment project in the Arab world. Deutsche Welle has had cooperation partnerships with Arabic broadcaster Abu Dhabi TV since November 2003 and with Lebanese broadcaster NBN since 2005.
The new eight-hour programming schedule for DW-TV/Arabic is punctuated by hourly newscasts. Each 26-minute slot will provide the latest updates from the political, economic, and cultural spheres as well as society news and sports. The expanded programming will also include Arabic subtitled feature shows and documentaries.
Available to 10 million viewers
The Arabic program, broadcast over the Nilesat and Hotbird 6 satellites, will be available in more than 20 countries from Morocco to Saudi Arabia, reaching an audience of around 10 million viewers.
To provide this extended service, DW-TV has increased its Arabian editorial staff in Berlin from 10 journalists to 30. The Arabic service has also increased the number of correspondents around the globe with contributions from freelance reporters from around the Middle East who have in the past worked for DW-RADIO and DW-WORLD.DE.
The Arab countries and Iran are Deutsche Welle's business and political target regions for the period 2007 to 2010.