Arab Media & Society
Fig. 1. Courtesy of Arab Media & Society.

The online journal Arab Media & Society has published its new issue (Issue 21, 2015) that focuses on pan-Arab TV channels, Egyptian media, and terrorism. Some articles include podcasts.

ISIS, Revolutionary Romance and the Seduction of Social Media

In this excerpt from a longer conversation, Abdallah Schleifer unpacks what draws marginalized youth to ISIS, articulating that just like the social revolutionary movements of the ’60s, the appeal of ISIS is not ideological, but rather existential. ISIS, he argues, offers a way for those on the fringes to transcend their marginalization, and express themselves violently. Ultimately, he says, much of ISIS’s power comes from their exceptional use of media to attract followers.

The Paris Attacks and the Refugee Narrative

In light of the Paris Attacks, we speak with The Guardian's Patrick Kingsley about the media narrative around the migrant crisis. Since March, Kingsley has reported extensively on this subject from across the Middle East, Africa and Europe. His work has been turned into a book to be published in 2016 by Faber. Kingsley spoke to us via Skype from Amman, Jordan. 

A Marriage of Misunderstanding

In April 2014, Egypt’s then foreign minister Nabil Fahmy used a marriage simile to describe the country’s relationship with the United States. At home, the expression didn’t translate. Muhammad Y Gamal discusses the challenges associated with media translation, and makes a case for the development of a coherent media translation policy in Egypt.

State 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. 

Covering Al Qaeda

We revisit our 2003 interview with journalist Yosri Fouda where he recounts his experience meeting two top members of Al Qaeda. His account offers insight into the inner workings of the organization and the challenges faced by a journalist covering such a high profile and complex story.

What is There to Celebrate?

With the announcement of the first annual Arab Media Day scheduled for April 21, 2016, Ramzy Baroud questions the decision to hold such an event given the sorry state of media in the region. Baroud argues that the theme - "The Role of the Media in Combatting Terrorism" - is overly politicized, and offers seven suggestions for improving Arab journalism. 

Media Privatization and the Fate of Social Democracy in Egypt

Nour Halabi asks why the social democratic aims of the January 2011 Revolution have not been advanced in the four years since. Halabi posits that private media ownership structures established during Mubarak's neoliberal economic reform initiative are largely to blame, arguing that despite the popular demands for social justice, the structure of Egyptian commercialized media inhibited the translation of social justice demands into discussions of economic policy.

Media Law in Egypt and the Universal Principles of Freedom of Expression

In an effort to elucidate the legal structures governing the media in Egypt, as well as the country's declared obligations according to international law, Mostafa Shaat offers a breakdown of the existing frameworks, highlighting inconsistencies between the legal concept of freedom of the press as delineated in international law and Egypt's national laws. He further discusses some of the current reform efforts underway.

Building Narratives: A Study of Terrorism Framing by Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya TV Networks

Using framing theory and content analysis, Saeed Abdullah & Mokhtar Elareshi investigate how Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya TV networks cover terrorism. This paper focuses on how the two networks differ or are similar in covering terrorism and identifies factors that may influence each network’s news selection processes and the framing of terrorism stories. This work represents an initial effort to expand research on terrorism coverage by pan-Arab media.

The latest issue of the Arab Media & Society is available online.