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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
02AMMAN2329
2002-05-12 13:42:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

IBB's Radio Sawa an initial hit among the

Tags:   KMDR  JO  KPAO 
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						UNCLAS AMMAN 002329 

SIPDIS

State for NEA/PPD (MLUSSENHOP, CBOURGEOIS), NEA/ARN,
IBB FOR GARY THATCHER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR JO KPAO
SUBJECT: IBB's Radio Sawa an initial hit among the
youth in Jordan



1. (Summary) The experimental broadcast of IBB's
Radio Sawa, which offers an attractive mix of Arabic
and American music, became an instant hit among
Jordan's young, who are the main target audience and
the majority of the population. Whether this
popularity will continue now that Radio Sawa has
started news and feature broadcasting remains to be
seen. There is a widespread misconception that
Radio Sawa is a private enterprise and not a U.S.
government broadcast. (End summary)



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Music attracts youth


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2. As early as the experimental broadcasting
stage, the attractive mix of Arabic and American
music broadcast on IBB's Radio Sawa became an
instant hit among Jordan's youth who are the
majority of the population in this country. The
diversity of Radio Sawa's audience appears to
transcend wealth and education barriers, since the
radio can be heard in modest taxicabs and
barbershops, fast food establishments such as Burger
King, as well as plush health fitness clubs.
Whether Radio Sawa's popularity will continue now
that more extensive news coverage will be aired on
the station remains to be seen.







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Not to be too sanguine


--------------------------




3. The success of the experimental broadcast
should not be confused with support for the U.S.
The conviction that U.S. Middle East policy is
biased against the Arabs remains strong in Jordan
and it gives rise to strong feelings of injustice
and anger. A PA contact said that a shop which he
frequents was playing Radio Sawa not realizing that
it was an American station. When this was explained
to him he immediately changed to another station.





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Cynicism regarding news broadcasts


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4. Centrist, influential among the elite, the
English daily Jordan Times reported on April 30 that
the "public is prepared for bias" in the news
broadcasts of Radio Sawa and the proposed U.S.
satellite channel. In the article, Dr. Nabil Al-
Sharif, Chief Editor of center-left, influential
Arabic daily Al-Dustour suggested that Arab
negativity to the U.S. is a reaction to U.S. policy,
not its packaging. He said: "The U.S. must exercise
fair-handedness in the Middle East in order to prove
itself." This sentiment has been echoed in opinion
columns in Jordan's Arabic papers. GNEHM