Azzaman is an Iraqi daily newspaper based in Baghdad. Azzaman, which means “The Times”, covers international and local news, sports, business, jobs and community events. It was founded in 1997 by Saad Al-Bazzaz, a former media chief under Saddam Hussein who subsequently became a dissident. Al-Bazzaz, who is still the editor-in-chief, first published the paper during his exile in London. In post-Saddam Iraq, he has emerged as a media mogul, also in control of Al-Sharqiya, the country’s first private satellite channel.
After the toppling of the former regime, Iraq’s press witnessed a renaissance and there are now more than 80 newspapers in the country. The country’s readers are avid - there is an Arab saying that says “Cairo writes, Beirut publishes and Baghdad reads”. Azzaman is the most widely read daily and sets out to provide an independent voice in a media climate where most publications have political ownership. In 2005 however, it emerged that large sums of Saudi funding had been received secretly by the newspaper.
Azzaman also publishes a weekly called Azzaman Al-Jadeed and an English version of its daily. Since its launch, it has built up a reputation of robust and reliable reporting. It has some of the best and leading columnists and journalists in Iraq, spanning a wide range of views and analysis with a distinct Iraqi flavor.