Media in Qatar


Censorship was lifted from local press in accordance with the eminent directive of His Highness the Emir since October 1995. Law No 5 of 1998, which abolished the Ministry of Information and Culture, distributed some of its departments and transformed others into independent bodies complemented the move.
In October in the same year the National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage was established. In the beginning of 2001 Qatar TV Satellite Channel went on the air and in May 1997 Qatar General Broadcasting and Television Corporation was set up. In November 1996, Al Jazeera Satellite TV Channel started transmitting from Qatar. Local press has flourished in recent years, benefiting from the prevailing democratic atmosphere and
available incentives to grow and spread to cover all social and economic areas of interest. These publications are self-contained and independent entities issuing from private publishing houses, which have their own modern presses and successful investments.
Qatar General Broadcasting and Television Corporation:
The law issued on 3rd May 1997 established Qatar General Broadcasting and Television Corporation as an autonomous body with an independent budget, directly reporting to the Council of Ministers. The Corporation aims to uphold the mission of audio and audio-visual information of safeguarding the freedom of the society and helping attain the common goals within the parameter of the general policy of the State and in line with the latest scientific developments of the time.
The Corporation is responsible of the following:
1- Establish and own audio and audio-visual broadcasting stations in the country.
2- Plan, develop, produce, record, prepare, providing and present local and international programs, and market thereof through selling or leasing inside the country and abroad.
3- Conserve and give prominence to the national heritage.
4- Provide audio and audio-visual coverage of the State's activities inside and outside the country.
5- Secure required banking facilities to finance the Corporation's investments.
The Corporation has a board of directors comprising a chairman, deputy chairman and a representative member from the concerned ministries and government bodies.
The Corporation is composed of the following administrative units
1- Broadcasting Department
2- Television Department
3- Financial and Administrative Affairs Department
4- Department of Publications
5- Qatar News Agency.
6- Foreign Press Agency.
Qatar Broadcasting Service (QBC):  
The Arabic language program is the backbone of the services extended by QBS to its listeners all over the world. It started with the official beginning of broadcasting transmission in the State of Qatar on the 25th of June 1968. The Arabic language program took most of the burden to realize the general objectives of the State and highlight, in the Arabic and
international domains, the Qatari identity in terms of culture, history, civilization and economic, social and urban development.
QBC presents the following programs:  
- The English Program.
- The Urdu Program.
- The French Program.
- The Holy Qur'aan program.
Qatar Television (QTV):  
QTV started its first phase of transmission in 1970 in black and white. Colored transmission started in 1974 and the second channel, which transmits in English, was opened in 1982. QTV has 24 hours of daily transmission.
Qatar News Agency (QNA):  
QNA was established by a Decree issued on the 25th of May 1975; and it started ever since to cover the whole Gulf and Arab regions. Starting with a transmission of half an hour a day in 1975, now it transmits its various services for a continuous daily period of about 18 hours in Arabic, English, Spanish and Portuguese from 7am till after midnight through its worldwide network; and transmission is extended to go round the clock if so developments require.
QNA extends its information services through its main daily news bulletin of about 150 news items issued from the central editing office. The bulletin covers official and unofficial local news as well as the news and events on the Gulf, Arab and international arenas, observing complete objectivity and accuracy in its news handling and news coverage.QNA, while embarking on the third millennium, does not stop at this level of news service. It continues incessantly to develop to cope with the remarkable development witnessed by the country in the political and economic fields under the leadership of H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, specially that the role of the State has been one of growing in the regional, Arabic and international forums in recent years.
Foreign Information Agency (FIA):  
The FIA enjoys an autonomous status that allows it to discharge the information policies, duties and objectives assigned to it with high level of efficiency.
It was set up by the decision of The Chairman of Qatar General Broadcasting and TV Corporation issued on the 7th of May 2001 to undertake the responsibility of introducing the State of Qatar, highlighting its achievements and establishing strong relations with various media establishments abroad through advanced and multi-purpose means of communications. It will also manage the affairs of foreign media representatives who are either based in the country or visiting.
The Department of Publications:  
Press and publication law No 8 of 1979 assigned to the Department of Publications a number of organizational and supervision responsibilities pertaining to the activities of press and publication in the country. That includes facilitating the issue of newspapers, newsletters and other publications in accordance with the provisions of the law and facilitating the work of local media people and establishments. The press and publication law is now being updated in line with the wide-range political and information openness, which the country is witnessing since 1995 under the leadership of H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani the Emir of the State of Qatar.
AL-JAZEERA Independent Satellite Channel:  
Commissioned in November 1996, al-Jazeera is the first independent Arab TV satellite channel to specialize in news and information coverage. It transmits round the clock across the Arab world from the Arabian Gulf to the Atlantic shores in North Africa and extends its services to Europe, North and South America, Oceania, Africa and Asia. The channel has an Arabic and English
language site on the internet; and has recently launched a sports channel, an information training center, a live coverage channel and a children channel. Presently, it is preparing to start new TV services including a documentary channel and an English language news channel.