Middle East

Qatar profile - Media

Al-Jazeera's newsroom in Doha, Qatar Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Qatar-based international news station Al-Jazeera has transformed the media across the Middle East

Influential pan-Arab and international TV broadcaster Al-Jazeera has raised Qatar's media profile.

The Doha-based operation is owned by the Qatar government. Its main Arabic network is a leading pan-Arab TV news station. The broadcaster operates Al-Jazeera English and Bosnia-based Al-Jazeera Balkans.

Al-Jazeera Arabic can be outspoken on subjects deemed as sensitive in the region. But the Qatari media observe strict self-censorship on domestic coverage and avoid criticising the state or government.

"The government, the royal family, and Islam are off limits to reporters," says Reporters Without Borders.

Domestic audiences are catered for by state-run TV and radio. The large expatriate population has access to media from their various home countries.

Qatar has daily newspapers in Arabic and English. The main titles have links to the ruling family and there is little or no critical reporting of domestic or foreign policy affairs.

BBC World Service radio in Arabic, France's Arabic-language Monte Carlo Doualiya and Radio Sawa from the US broadcast on FM in Doha.

Qatar has one of the highest internet penetration rates in the Middle East. There were 2.6 million internet users by the end of 2017 - around 98% of the population (InternetWorldStats.com).

The top social networks are Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and Instagram.

Authorities filter political criticism, material deemed offensive to Islam, pornographic content and online privacy resources.

The press

Television

  • Al-Jazeera - influential pan-Arab and international satellite broadcaster, financed by the Qatar government
  • Qatar TV - state-run; operates main Arabic service, Koran channel, English channel, satellite channel

Radio

News agency/internet