Thursday, January 19, 2012

CNN's Arabic Website Turns 10

Happy birthday to!

The website launched on this day (January 19) in 2002, with a mix of news, special reports and exclusive interviews in Arabic for readers around the world.

CNN is noting the 10th anniversary of the website with the press release below.

CNN Press Release: celebrates 10 years of coverage

Today marks a significant milestone in the history of, as the site marks 10 years since it began providing news in Arabic to audiences around the world.

Launched on 19 January 2002, the site has seen the Arab world change beyond recognition, and charted a decade of events across world news, theMiddle East, science and technology, business, entertainment, and sports for a global audience of Arabic speakers. Its mix of special reports, videos, exclusive interviews and daily stock market reports has gained the site around a million unique users per month and seven million page views per month.

The site has also become a key part of CNN’s international newsgathering capability, contributing to reporting across the network’s services. It has also played a pioneering role in reaching out the Arab world’s influential blogging community and introducing dedicated sections for Arabic-speaking social media groups.

“Right from the moment it launched, the layer of analysis, knowledge and nuance that CNNArabic has given to CNN’s coverage of the Arab world has been invaluable,” said Tony Maddox, senior vice president at CNN International. “It has enabled us to deliver a picture of events, issues, people and places in fully rendered detail, right across the network. Audiences across the globe turn to CNN for this considered coverage, and this is in no small part down to the hard work, dedication and resourcefulness of the CNNArabic team.”

The events of the Arab Spring have seen’s contribution become even more valuable to the network, especially online. "The contribution of to CNN’s coverage of global news has been vital to our digital success, especially during last year’s Arab Spring," said Susan Grant, executive vice president of CNN News Services. "We’re proud to celebrate's 10-year anniversary and their excellent coverage of the Arab world for audiences everywhere, whether in Arabic, English or Spanish."

Caroline Faraj, CNN Arabic digital services director, highlighted the interactive relationship the site has with its growing audience. “Our audience is a constant source of ideas and inspiration for us. Throughout our first decade they have given us ideas, suggestions and comments, and we have walked together step by step. This has been invaluable in delivering credible news and professional journalism across the network. We’re hugely thankful for this input and look forward to our next decade growing together.

The way in which the Arab world has embraced digital media over the past decade was also highlighted, "The digital revolution has had a profound impact across the Middle East, especially among the youth”, said Rani Raad, SVP & Managing Director, CNN International Advertising Sales and Business Development, “In a region that generates close to a thousand tweets a minute and has more than 36 million Facebook users, has been at the forefront – delivering a credible window on the region and beyond."

Speaking about the future plans for, Peter Bale, Vice President & General Manager, Digital, CNN International, added: “CNN Arabic is a vital and growing part of the CNN digital network. Its dedicated team has carved out a strong voice in the region and a big following among Arabic speakers worldwide. It is an authentically Arab service with the integrity and independence consumers and advertisers expect from the CNN brand. We aim to grow CNN Arabic to better serve one of the world’s most economically dynamic and newsworthy regions.”

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