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Arabic media

The regulations governing press freedom in Arabic-language news vary widely depending on the country where a publication is published. Asharq Al-Aswat, for example, is published in London and subject to few press restrictions; any newspaper in Syria, by contrast, will be shut down immediately if it fails to hew to the government line. Note too that some publications—Al Jazeera most notably—are government-funded. So Al Jazeera is in effect the foreign propaganda arm of the Qatari government. (It is nonetheless an excellent and professional newspaper, but it has a pronounced bias, and you’ll certainly never read about human rights violations in Qatar in its pages.) We’ve indicated in our descriptions the country where the newspaper is published and, if relevant, its source of funding.


Al Riyadh is a Riyadh-based, pro-government Saudi daily newspaper. Its sister paper was Riyadh Daily that was in circulation between 2003 and 1 January 2004. Al Riyadh is one of the dominant papers in Nejd.


Al Madina is an Arabic language newspaper published in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The paper is one of the oldest newspapers published in the country.


Okaz is an Arabic Saudi Arabian daily newspaper located in Jeddah. The paper was launched in 1960 and its sister publication is Saudi Gazette. The paper is simultaneously printed in both Riyadh and Jeddah and has offices all over Saudi Arabia. However, the daily mainly serves the provinces of the Hejaz and Asir.


The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (also known as SOHR), founded in May 2006, is a United Kingdom-based information office whose stated aim is to document human rights abuses in Syria; since 2011 it has focused on the Syrian Civil War. It has been frequently quoted by major news outlets since the beginning of the war about daily numbers of deaths from all sides in the conflict and particularly civilians killed in airstrikes in Syria.