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Formerly TBS Journal

ISSN: 1687-7721

Arab World

BOOK REVIEW | Arab Media in the Information Age

The methodological shortcomings and scarce editing make this book a frustrating read. The lessons to be taken from this book regard the challenges facing Arab media studies as much as those facing Arab media, argues Contributing Editor Sune Haugbolle.

BOOK REVIEW | American Encounters with Arabs: The “Soft Power” of U.S. Public Diplomacy in the Middle East

Readers of American Encounters will be heartened by the reminder that — regardless of the administration or specific policy — there remain elements in the U.S. foreign policy establishment dedicated to engaging with Arab audiences and keeping avenues of communication open, argues Will Ward.

Darfur: Covering the “forgotten” story

The burning village of Um Zeifa. Image by Brian Steidle courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

There is no issue in Arab journalism today that is more controversial than how the region’s media cover Darfur. It is the hot-button issue in the Arab newsroom not because of the physical danger but because the issue bores right to the heart of the mission of Arab journalism and the self-identity of those who practice it, writes Publisher and Co-Editor Lawrence Pintak.

Do National political systems still influence Arab media?

Photograph by Kim Badawi.

Although recent changes in information technology, especially the growth of satellite television, have had an impact on Arab media, making national borders more porous, existing national political systems are still a dominant variable affecting the structure and behavior of Arab media, argues Editorial Board Member William A. Rugh.

Lines in the Sand: Problematizing Arab Media in the Post-Taxonomic Era

Al Arabiya presenter Cyba Audi.  The growth of satellite television in the Arab World has complicated the task of producing typologies. Courtesy of Al Arabiya.

Without a critical cultural examination of the multiple sides of the “Arabic” and “Arab” media terrain, the fervent attachment to the production of taxonomies to describe this terrain at a time of exponential transformation may provide little more than lines in the sand, claims Editorial Board Member Adel Iskandar.

Press Under Siege Conference Raises a Cry for a Freer Middle East Press

It was not clear whether the ultimate point of the conference was to support Arab journalists in their struggle for protected freedoms, or to promote Siniora’s governmentthen under heavy fireas democratic and free before a would-be sympathetic international audience, claims Abigail Hauslohner.

Censorship: What you didn't see

Do Arab newspapers say one thing in Arabic and another in English? Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy thinks so. She was a columnist for the Saudi-owned pan-Arab daily Asharq Alawsat until she was abruptly dropped last year. One reason may have been her complaints about how her articles were being edited for the Arabic edition. Here's your chance to read one of her original op-eds alongside the edited version.

Blogging the new Arab public

A young man blogs in a Syrian cyber cafe. Picture by Kim Badawi.

Marc Lynch traces the political impact of blogging in the Middle East arguing that Arab blogs have begun to exert real leverage meriting serious attention.

Media and Religion in the Arab-Islamic World

Old and new religious media on sale in Syria.  Photograph by Kim Badawi.

In this edited version of the 11th Templeton Lecture on Religion and World Affairs, Abdallah Schleifer looks at the development of journalism in the Arab-Islamic World, attempting to explain factors shaping journalism practice in the region.

The weaponization of news media in the Middle East

We are hardly ever innocent bystanders to conflict. Merely with their presence journalists influence the parties they report on, so we are participants rather than bystanders. And our choice of what to report and how always serves certain power interests, argues Dutch journalist Joris Luyendijk.

2007: A Fateful Year for America's Voices?

There are several reasons why the new Democratic 110th Congress, the Bush administration, or both need to take a hard, new look at the American networks without delay, says Alan L. Heil Jr.

The long march of Pan-Arab media: a personal view

Arabic mixes with international brands in a Syrian TV shop. Kim Badawi.

In all previous Arab-Israeli wars Israel had dominated on all counts. But in the 2006 war, the influence of the Israeli media on global opinion seemed to have been tempered by the greater range of Arab voices, argues Jihad Fakhreddine.

BOOK REVIEW | A Violent World: TV News Images of Middle Eastern Terror and War

For its willingness to take on and expose dominant elite ideologies, this book deserves real credit, argues Courtney Radsch.

Reporting a revolution: the changing Arab media landscape

Satellite dishes adorn a house in Libya.  Photograph by Claudia Gazzini.

The times, as Bob Dylan sang in another context, are a’ changin’. Across the Middle East, new television stations, radio stations and websites are sprouting like incongruous electronic mushrooms in what was once a media desert, says Co-Editor Lawrence Pintak.

Arab blogs: Or how I learned to stop worrying and to love Middle East dictators

A Syrian policeman walks past old computer screens, Damascus.  Photograph by Kim Badawi.

"The headline is a lie. I never did stop worrying about the Middle East and my hatred for its dictators is just as virulent as ever. But one thing has changed: I no longer feel the despair and indifference borne of years reporting on the region’s leaders. And that’s thanks to blogs," says Mona Eltahawy.

BOOK REVIEW | Muhajababes

‘Muhajababes’ is hardly a title most academic journals would be interested in. But to ignore this book purely because it targets a wide audience would be a grave mistake, argues Managing Editor George Weyman.

Reality Television and Politics in the Arab World: Preliminary ObservationsIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

Arab Reality TV: Promoting Pan-Arab love or stoking the flames of nationalism? (Photo of Star Academy courtesy IBA Media.)

In the wake of controversy triggered by Super Star and Star Academy, some observers have hailed reality television as a harbinger of democracy in the Arab world. Marwan Kraidy looks at the political implications of a new and popular genre hitting Arab satellite television.

'The Perfect War': US Public Diplomacy and International Broadcasting During Desert Shield and Desert Storm, 1990/1991Icon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

US Public Diplomacy Czar Karen Hughes (AP).

In this article, Nicholas Cull reviews the performance of the United States Information Agency (USIA) during the Gulf Crisis and War of 1990-91. He concludes by contrasting the effective US use of public diplomacy during this period with the problems encountered following 9/11.

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