United States Agency for Global Media

MBN image

alhurra and radio sawa

Middle East Broadcasting Networks

MBN is an Arabic-language multimedia organization that reaches 34.1 million people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) weekly. Reporters Without Borders’ 2023 report revealed that press freedom in Middle Eastern countries went from bad to worse. Press freedom and journalist safety remained “very bad” in most of the nations that MBN targets.

MBN is more than just two 24/7 television networks (Alhurra and Alhurra-Iraq), five digital platforms (Alhurra.com, Irfaasawtak.com, ElSaha.com, MaghrebVoices.com and RadioSawa.com) and a variety of podcasts. It’s a team of journalists across the region, dedicated to producing stories on universal freedom and human rights that often go unreported in the indigenous Arabic press. By bringing these stories to the forefront, MBN underscores its commitment to tolerance, the rule of law, inclusion and social justice.

Amidst the influence of local, pan-Arab, and foreign-owned Arabic media outlets in the region, which are often swayed by the economic, political, and religious interests of their funders, MBN stands as a beacon of reliability. Audiences can trust MBN to deliver accurate and objective news about their country, the region, and the world. This trust is particularly crucial as the region becomes more polarized. In addition to news, MBN offers in-depth discussions, investigative reports, and thought-provoking documentaries about issues in and about the region, further solidifying its role as a trusted source of information.

MBN is unique within USAGM. It is a hybrid of Voice of America’s (VOA) model and the surrogate broadcasting model used by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB). Like RFE/RL, RFA, and OCB, MBN acts as a surrogate broadcaster, providing access to professional and fact-based regional and local news in its media market. Like VOA, however, MBN provides comprehensive regional and world news to local audiences, while telling America’s story.

Beyond news about the region, MBN serves as the definitive Arabic outlet for news about the U.S. The network extensively reports on U.S. foreign policy relating to the MENA region, including a daily newscast and two weekly discussion programs dedicated to U.S. news and events. Through these programs, MBN highlights the plurality of America with various viewpoints and ideas. MBN also goes beyond the beltway to show America, its people and its values to audiences across the region. In its 20 years, MBN has been recognized and honored more than 175 times by global journalism competitions.

Recent Press Releases

Amb. Ryan Crocker named MBN Acting Board Chair

The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc. (MBN) announced that Amb. Ryan Crocker will serve as the acting chair of its board of directors. Amb. Crocker is a career diplomat who has served as the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait and Pakistan. He is succeeding veteran journalist James O’Shea, who stepped down from the board earlier this month.

MBN wins three Telly Awards

The Middle East Broadcasting Network, Inc. (MBN) was awarded three Telly awards for its digital reporting. Alhurra.com and ElSaha were recognized for their work on social issues and public awareness on May 21st.

The Votes Are In…And “The Last Day in Kojo” Wins At the Webbys

The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc. (MBN) podcast “Chapters” episode “The Last Day in Kojo” was named the People’s Voice Winner for Best Documentary Podcast at the annual Webby Awards. The narrative podcast details the day ISIS invaded the Yazidi village of Kojo, with firsthand accounts from survivors.

Recent Awards

“Many media programs have dealt with ISIS using various methods. However, the new documentary series, “Delusional Paradise” adopts a unique, extremely sensitive line by focusing on the “living victims” who have lost loved ones and family members to ISIS’s violence.”

Waleed Barkasyieh for Almodon.com