Qatar's Media Sector
Social media users in January 2021
Most watched news channel in the MENA is Al Jazeera
About Qatar’s Media Sector
The media sector in Qatar is growing and has a promising future. The two major newspapers in Qatar are Gulf Times, which was founded in 1978, and Al Raya, which began circulating in 1979. Gulf Times competes in the English language market with The Peninsula, which was founded in 1996, and the Qatar Tribune, which began publication in 2006, whilst Al Raya competes with Al Sharq, founded in 1985, and Al Watan, founded in 1995.
Qatar’s international broadcasting segment, however, is more developed and well established, particularly following the launch of Al Jazeera in 1996. It has grown to become a major outlet for such things as news, current affairs, and entertainment, and broadcasts to over 220 million households in more than 100 countries. Al Jazeera has more than 70 bureaus and 3000 staff worldwide. It has a wide variety of networks, including Al Jazeera English, which commenced operations in 2006; Bosnia and Herzegovina based Al Jazeera Balkans, which was founded in 2011 and is offered in the Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian languages; and Al Jazeera Turk, which is based in Istanbul. Al Jazeera’s North American channel, Al Jazeera America, began operations in August 2013, and garnered multiple awards for journalism before disbanding in April 2016.
Qatar also recently created “Media City”, an organization that was founded for the purpose of promoting media-related activities in the country. Similar to the Qatar Free Zones, Media City is established under different laws and offers special concessions to the companies within it. Qatar’s Media City is focused on three different types of media: TV channels, publications, and social media. They have attracted more than 33 different news outlets and continue to search for more partners.