KNN (Kurdish News Network) was founded in 2008 as a subsidiary of the Wusha Corporation, an independent Kurdish media group, and first started broadcasting on the 31st of December 2008. KNN is primarily a Kurdish-language channel, its main remit is local and international current-affairs, but KNN also reports extensively on the economy, politics, sport, culture and the arts. News updates are supplemented by in-depth interviews with prominent Kurdish politicians and thinkers, and KNN also produces a vide variety of documentaries and local-interest programmes, as well as adapting foreign programming for Kurdish viewers. The channel is headquartered in Sulemaniah, Iraqi Kurdistan, and employs over 160 people there and in its offices across the region. KNN has a network of correspondents throughout Kurdistan and Iraq, as well as permanent local offices in Irbil (Hawler) and Kirkuk.
KNN is unique in Kurdistan in that it is the only news channel not under the direct control of one of the major political parties in the region, and as such is the only televised media outlet which can be considered fully independent and truly objective in the selection of its material and its reporting. One of the major results of the domination of media by organizations run by the governing parties in Kurdistan has been that only the news related to government activity is that considered to show it and its policies in a positive light. KNN, on the other hand, seeks to give a more complete picture of events in the region, by addressing the negative aspects of the current system, instead of merely highlighting the positives.
The channel does, though, conform to the wider agenda of the Wusha Corporation, which is to address the inequalities and barriers to reform which plague the Kurdistan area. KNN's aim is promote political, social and economic reform by exposing corruption and highlighting the ways in which the interests of the Kurdish people are not being and could be better served. The channel attempts to address such problems as the lack of distinction between the public and the private spheres which, especially in regards to business, have ensured that vested interests within government have the power to undermine moves towards a more democratic state and society. KNN's philosophy is based on the assertion that freedom of expression is a right, and not a privilege, and seeks therefore to be both an information provider, a medium for people to express their views, and a public arena in which debate is encouraged rather than suppressed.