Saudi Arabia media guide

  • Published
A man reading Al-Hayat newspaper at a cafe in the Saudi capital RiyadhImage source, Getty Images

Saudi Arabia's tightly-controlled media offer unwavering support for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and King Salman, routinely ignoring negative reporting about the kingdom

Key media owners are said to have handed over significant assets to the state during MBS's so-called anti-corruption initiative in 2017, leaving the ownership status of major outlets unclear

Although outlets are adopting a more "modern" approach, and more women are involved in the media on and off screen, media freedom organisations continue to note a decline in freedoms

Moves are under way to turn the kingdom into a global media hub, with the relocation of key outlets from abroad and a diversification into digital platforms

Saudis are huge consumers of social media, and the country is said to be the world's biggest user of YouTube

Religious figures are among the most followed social media personalities, despite having been sidelined by MBS in his attempt to curb the influence of hardline Salafi clerics and those affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood

Social media manipulation is rife as campaigns to defend the kingdom and rebuff criticism routinely involve influencers, inauthentic behaviour and disinformation.

There were 35 million internet users by July 2022, comprising 98% of the population (


  • Akhbaar24 - a news-focused website associated with the popular financial platform Argaam
  • Elaph - Saudi-owned pan-Arab news site, based in London
  • Sabq - pro-government Saudi news website
  • Al-Watan - Abha-based daily
  • Al-Riyadh - Riyadh-based daily
  • Okaz - Jeddah-based daily
  • Al-Jazirah - Riyadh-based daily
  • Al-Sharq al-Awsat - Saudi pan-Arab daily, based in London, site in English
  • Al-Iqtisadiyah - financial daily focusing on regional economic news
  • Arab News - Jeddah-based English-language daily
  • Saudi Gazette - Jeddah-based English-language daily


  • Al Arabiya TV - Saudi media group MBC's flagship 24-hour news channel
  • Al-Hadath TV - Al-Arabiya's sister channel, which carries in-depth follow-ups on Al Arabiya's reports
  • Asharq News - news channel owned by royal family-linked conglomerate SRMG
  • Saudi TV - state-run, includes news network Al-Ikhbariya


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