Formerly TBS Journal

ISSN: 1687-7721

Arab World

Morocco’s Return to African Union Widely Reported by International Media

February 1, 2017 —The 28th Summit of the African Union (AU) ended with a decision to welcome Morocco back to the pan-African body, a return that has been widely reported by international news outlets. The decision comes after Morocco submitted an official request to “accede to the African Union (AUC) Constitutive Act” in September 2016 to pave the way for gaining the AU membership.

“Arab Culture”: From Orientalist Construct to Arab Uprisings

BOOK EXCERPT | Mohamed Chouikh: From Anticolonial Commemoration to a Cinema of Contestation in Ten Arab Filmmakers

POLICY REVIEW | After the Arab Uprisings: The Prospects for a Media that Serves the Public.

Managing Editor Sarah El-Shaarawi conducts an in depth review of BBC Media Action's policy breif After the Arab Uprisings: The prospects for a media that serves the public, examining the viability of their proposed recommendations for reforming Arab national broadcasters.

What is There to Celebrate?

Is Informationalization Good for the Middle East?

Photo courtesy of at

In a thought-provoking essay, Jon W. Anderson poses the question: Is informationalization good for the Middle East? The notion evolves through a wealth of data, fresh comparisons and insight into factors such as telecom infrastructure, the monetization of data, the extraction of value upward, and how labor is valued in an informationalized economy.

Report: The American University in Cairo’s “Tahrir Dialogue: Media Changes in Tunisia after the Revolution” featuring Kamel Labidi

Photo by Mohamed Fahim

Rasha Allam reports on the efforts of Kamel Labidi, former head of the National Authority for the Reform of Media and Communication, to enact media reform in Tunisia. Two months after Labidi spoke about his work at the American University in Cairo (May 9, 2012), he and his commission resigned, citing a lack of political will for media reform and obstruction from the newly elected Ennahda-led government.

Hip Hop & Diaspora: Connecting the Arab Spring

Tunisian rapper El Général - picture by Fethi Belaid

Dr Lara N. Dotson-Renta examines the activities of cross-cultural hip-hoppers and rappers inspired by the Arab uprisings and how they have strengthened the ties between diaspora Arabs and those who continue to live in the region.

Ruling the Arab Internet: An Analysis of Internet Ownership Trends of Six Arab Countries

An Internet cafe in the Egyptian countryside

Michael Oghia and Helen Indelicato research Internet ownership in key Arab countries, noting the differences in the extent of state control and in the levels of private and foreign investment in the infrastructure.

Digital Protectionism: Preparing for the coming Internet Embargo

Rami Khater sees the first signs that the United States and its allies might use their dominance of the Internet as a weapon against their enemies in the Middle East and argues that countries in the region would do well to develop indigenous Internet platforms.

The Coming Contenders

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal on his private plane

The Arab world's news duopoly is set for a shake-up, and the main contenders are two ventures that are connected to one of the world's biggest media organizations, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Beirut-based journalist Paul Cochrane looks at the latest developments.

Is the Global Financial Crisis Aggravating Anti-Americanism in the MENA Region? What Arab Media Coverage Suggests

Cameras outside the Lehman Brothers building in New York at the start of the crisis

Diana Turecek looks at the varied conclusions about the role of the United States that Arab media and commentators have drawn from the global financial crisis.

Crunching the Numbers, Breaking the News

Alaa Shahine reviews the state of financial reporting in the Middle East and finds that below the radar screen it has seen some rapid changes as individuals turn to investing

Turkish soap operas in the Arab world: social liberation or cultural alienation?

Noor and Muhannad from the Arabized Turkish soap opera Noor

Alexandra Buccianti looks at the Turkish soap opera phenomenon as a successful model of hybridization and sets it against the background of Turkey's historical role in the Arab world

Book review - Shereen El Feki on two books by Marwan Kraidy

Shereen El Feki reviews Arab Television Industries by Marwan Kraidy and Joe F. Khalil, and Reality Television and Arab Politics: contention in public life, also by Marwan M. Kraidy

Book review - Aaron Wenner on (Un)Civil War of Words by Mamoun Fandy

Aaron Wenner reviews (Un)Civil War of Words: Media and Politics in the Arab World by Mamoun Fandy, concluding that it is an interesting and timely argument for a more nuanced understanding of the political and social role of Arab media, but would be much stronger if it had more specific case studies, a clearer conception of its terms, and a more precise focus.

Commentary - the move away from big pan-Arab channels

Mourad Haroutunian shares his thoughts on the many reasons why Arab audiences have being moving away from the big pan-Arab news channels towards nation-based television channels, especially those offering sports, movies and other forms of entertainment.

Commentary - censorship and the Arab Media Forum in BahrainIcon indicating an associated article is new

Sheyma Buali, after attending the annual Arab Media Forum in Bahrain, comments on the elephant in the room that many participants were reluctant to address

Historicizing Arab blogs: Reflections on the transmission of ideas and information in Middle Eastern history

Cairo coffeehouse.  Courtesy of Flickr user michaelmc under a Creative Commons license

As a social space that enables new rituals of engagement, blogging may be most analogous to the rise of the coffeehouse during the Ottoman period, argues historian Brian Ulrich.

Repairing American public diplomacy

State Department official Alberto Fernandez speaks on al-Jazeera

How can the Obama Administration rebuild American public diplomacy in the Arab World? Engaging with regional media, reforming BBG Arabic broadcasting and reducing the military role would be a good start, argues Ambassador William A. Rugh.

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