State Dept. hypes U.S. with new glossy mag for the Mideast
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Monday, August 18, 2003
The State Department hopes
Arabic-language magazine will bolster the image of the United States in
the Middle East.
U.S. officials said the department launched the glossy "Hi" magazine
in July in several countries in the Arab world. They said the initial print
was for 50,000 copies, for distribution in Algeria, Bahrain, the Republic of
Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Jordan Kuwait, Oman, Palestinian Authority,
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
So far, there have not been any articles on Al Qaida or the Arab-Israeli
conflict, Middle East Newsline reported. The magazine is available
on newsstands and by subscription.
So far, the magazine has come out in July and August. Officials said the
Arabic language monthly magazine has been aimed at
those from 18 to 35. The subjects discussed in the magazine include
education, technology, careers and health.
"It is a part of our public diplomacy efforts for this very large
region, this important region, where we have been looking at
opportunities to reach out to, particularly, young people, to talk more
about the United States," State Department deputy spokesman Philip Reeker
said. "It is a competitive, commercially produced and distributed
publication, and the intent, over time, is to make the magazine
self-financing, or as self-financing as possible through advertising,
through newsstand sales, and through paid subscriptions."
Officials said the magazine's operations are expected to cost $4.2
million a year. The
newsstand price is the equivalent of $2 per copy.
The magazine is published by the Magazine Group, based in Washington.
The distributor of the magazine is the Levante Group, based in Beirut, and
printing takes place at a U.S. government facility in Manila.
"The magazine group, chosen through a competitive bidding process to
handle the editorial and production side of
the magazine, submits a list of topics for the various sections of the
magazine as designed by people expert in this area," Reeker said. "They
submit that to an in-house State Department editorial board which reviews
these topics and submits comments to the magazine group."