Type of site
|Available in||English, Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish|
|Owner||Jamal Daniel (Private)|
|Launched||13 February 2012|
Al-Monitor (Arabic: المونيتور) is a media site launched in February 2012 by the Arab American entrepreneur Jamal Daniel and is based in Washington, DC. Al-Monitor provides reporting and analysis from and about the Middle East.
History and organization
Al-Monitor was launched on 13 February 2012 by the Arab-American Jamal Daniel (who was born in Syria, but grew up in Lebanon). It was founded with the intention to publish a diverse set of perspectives on the region, bridging the gap of information available to both those in the Middle East and those elsewhere with a desire to better understand a rapidly changing region.
In 2018, Al-Monitor partnered with North Base Media which was founded by Marcus Brauchli and Sasa Vucinic in managing Al-Monitor in order "to provide top-level operational and financial decision-making, and work with the company to explore possible content and commercial avenues."
At its founding, the site also translated content from countries in the Middle East; however, the site now only provides original content and does not translate from partners. Among its media partners are El Khabar, Al-Masry Al-Youm, Azzaman, Calcalist, Yedioth Ahronoth, Al-Qabas, An-Nahar, As-Safir (now closed), Al-Hayat, Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal, Habertürk, Milliyet, Radikal (now closed), Sabah, Taraf (now closed), Al Khaleej, and Al-Tagheer.
Al-Monitor features reporting and analysis by journalists and experts from the Middle East, with special focus sections (that Al-Monitor terms "pulses") on Egypt, the Persian Gulf, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, North Africa, Palestine, Syria, Turkey as well as Russia's relationship with the Middle East.
Contributors have included Vitaly Naumkin, director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Kadri Gursel, formerly and editor with Cumhuriyet; Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institution; Amberin Zaman, formerly a Turkey correspondent for The Economist; Sultan al Qassemi, former columnist with the United Arab Emirates–based The National and one of Time's 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011 selections; Barbara Slavin, former diplomatic correspondent for USA Today and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council; Laura Rozen, a former foreign policy reporter for Politico, Foreign Policy, and Yahoo; and Madawi al-Rasheed, professor of social anthropology at King's College London; the late Cairo-based political analyst Bassem Sabry, an Egyptian writer who wrote extensively on Egypt and the Arab Spring; Akiva Eldar, a long-time Israeli political columnist formerly with Haaretz, and Gaza-based Asmaa al-Ghoul.
The site also conducts interviews with newsmakers, including former Deputy Secretary of State William Joseph Burns; former Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department Anne-Marie Slaughter; former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel; and Mustafa Barghouti, one-time candidate for Palestinian Authority president.
In 2014, the International Press Institute awarded Al-Monitor its Free Media Pioneer Award, stating that Al-Monitor's "unrivalled reporting and analysis exemplify the invaluable role that innovative and vigorously independent media can play in times of change and upheaval".
In January 2013, Ian Burrell of The Independent called Al-Monitor "an ambitious website that pulls together the commentary of distinguished writers from across the region."  In 2012, former The Washington Post foreign affairs blogger Max Fisher called Al-Monitor "an invaluable Web-only publication following the Middle East." The Huffington Post has referred to Al-Monitor as "increasingly a daily must-read for insightful commentary on the Middle East," and The Economist recommended Al-Monitor's Egypt and Iran coverage in its What to Read section.
While acknowledging a range of different opinions among the media site's writers, Lee Smith of the American Jewish Tablet magazine has alleged that Al-Monitor's stance towards Syrian and Lebanese issues often mirrors the official positions of the Syrian government and the Hezbollah.
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- "Mideast News Site Offers Diverse Voices—but Often Parrots Syrian Regime," Tablet (June 20, 2013). Retrieved 22 May 2014.