Formerly TBS Journal

ISSN: 1687-7721

Arab World

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. Independent, interactive, popular

Islam Online's Arabic homepage

Bettina Graf gets behind the scenes at, one of the world’s most popular Islamic websites, giving an in-depth look at how the site creates and issues fatwas.

Storm in a shisha

Some feared the 2008 novel The Jewel of Medina would create the fiercest backlash among Muslims since the Danish cartoon scandal. So why hasn’t it? Shereen El Feki looks at the politics surrounding the book’s publication.

BOOK REVIEW | Media Censorship in the Middle East

Jabbar al-Obaidi’s typology of the region’s media is a valuable contribution, writes John Measor, but imprecise analysis and failure to engage with existing scholarship undermines the work as a whole.

BOOK REVIEW | Desiring Arabs

Massad’s work on Arab sexuality in literature and media in reference to Said’s Orientalism will no doubt promote fruitful discussions, says Stephanie Tara Schwartz.

BBC Arabic TV: A

Hosam El Sokkari, the man behind the BBC's move into Arabic-language television, insists the new channel will not be the British Alhurra. So why would the British public want to spend Foreign Office money on a channel in the Arab world? Co-Editor Lawrence Pintak finds out.

Lessons worth learning: The Indonesian model

Flickr user ericsetiawan, published under a Creative Commons License

Over the last two decades an explosion of new private outlets has dramatically changed Indonesia’s media landscape, writes Publisher and Co-Editor Lawrence Pintak. What lessons does this hold for the Arab press?

Arab youth, television and “affluenza”

Does high television viewing correlate with more materialistic values in the Arab World? Recent survey data suggest not, says Mark Harmon.

BOOK REVIEW | Arab Television Today

Drawing on Sakr’s deep and sophisticated industry expertise, the book is a must-read for anyone interested in the political economy of the Arab television industry, writes Youssef Masrieh.

International broadcasting and intercultural dialogue: Deutsche Welle in the Arab World

Germany’s government spends over a quarter billion Euros a year on this satellite network aimed at stimulating intercultural dialogue. But does Deutsche Welle really connect with Arab viewers? Carola Richter investigates.

Strong medicine

What’s the difference between nine and 50 percent? Two months in prison or $5,000 if you’re a journalist in Sudan. Shereen El Feki on new initiatives to improve health and science journalism in the Arab World.

First Look: Watching BBC Arabic TV

It’s slick, thorough, professional and balanced – but does the new BBC Arabic satellite channel stand out from the crowd? Middle East media analyst Najm Jarrah weighs in.

BOOK REVIEW | Instant Nationalism: McArabism, al-Jazeera and Transnational Media in the Arab World

Instant Nationalism contains a wealth of material and a useful set of questions to be explored in further studies of transnational media in the Middle East and the shaping of regional public perception and political action, argues Becky Schulthies.

Arab League Satellite Broadcasting CharterIcon indicating an associated article is new

photo by Kim Badawi.

Principles for Regulating Satellite Broadcasting Transmission In the Arab World.
Unofficial English translation.