Al-Hurra satellite network launches Middle East broadcast from Virginia

Al-Hurra, a U.S. government-funded satellite television network, launched operations last weekend from its base in suburban Washington, D.C., beaming Arabic language news to the Middle East.

Al-Hurra, which is Arabic for “The Free One,” is intended to offer a counterbalance in reporting to what many see as an anti-American slant to many reports from Arab news sources, such as Al-Jazeera.

The U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, a government agency that oversees broadcast activities like the Voice of America and TV Marti, reportedly has budgeted more than $60 million to put Al-Hurra on the air.

Al-Hurra’s broadcast center is in Springfield, VA. The network has offices in several world capitals and broadcasts to 22 countries in the Middle East.

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