Anonymous, 16 Jul 2020
Research on Middle East, Islam and digital media
keyword: information and communication technology

New Book: The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics

The book compiles cutting-edge research across six continents to provide a comprehensive, global, up-to-date review of recent political uses of social media. Drawing together empirical analyses of the use of social media by political movements and in national and regional elections and referenda, The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics presents studies ranging from Anonymous and the Arab Spring to the Greek Aganaktismenoi, and from South Korean presidential elections to the Scottish independence referendum. The book is framed by a selection of keystone theoretical contributions, evaluating and updating existing frameworks for the social media age.

New Issue of the Online – Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet

The Institute for Religious Studies at the University of Heidelberg released a new issue of its Online – Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet (Vol 9, 2015). It features "a multitude of articles, ranging from the crowdfunding of a new church, shari'a in cyberspace, the pope on Twitter, the internet site of Ahmadiyya in Germany, online authority of the minority of the Kyais in Indonesia and attitutes towards women's participation in public prayer in Judaism and Islam as well as a book review of Cybertheolgy: Thinking Christianity in The Era of the Internet."

New Issue of the Arab Media and Society

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

New Book: Media Power and Global Television News: The Role of Al Jazeera English

The book considers Al Jazeera English's position in the global news environment. The Middle East has been a particular focus of global crisis reporting. Yet, international coverage of these conflicts has historically been presented through a 'Western' perspective. The absence of Arab voices in the global public sphere has created a discursive gap between the Middle East and the rest of the world. The arrival of Al Jazeera English might, therefore, be regarded as an attempt to bridge this gap by broadcasting discourses from and about the Arab world. Using a framing analysis of selected news reports by Al Jazeera English before and after the so-called 'Arab Spring' protests, this book considers Al Jazeera English's position in the global news environment and identifies the extent to which it addresses this gap between the Arab and global spheres.

New Book: Women and Cultural Citizenship in Turkey: Mass Media and 'Woman's Voice' Television

The author examines the diversification of mass media in Turkey following liberalization in the 1980s. Specifically looking at popular women's talk shows ("Woman's Voice" Television), she explores the way in which groups with political and cultural power control public discourse and the public sphere in Turkey, and how urban/rural and Islamist/secular oppositions play out. The author traces the development of mass media in Turkey, particularly television, and closely examining how narrations of violence against women are presented.

New Issue of the Journal of Arab and Muslim Media Research

The Journal of Arab & Muslim Media Research released its new issue (Vol. 8, Issue 2, 2015), edited by Noureddine Miladi from the Qatar University. The issue focuses on TV programme content and online communication tools.

Book: Social Media in Iran: Politics and Society After 2009

The book tells the complex story of how and why the Iranian people—including women, homosexuals, dissidents, artists, and even state actors—use social media technology, and in doing so create a contentious environment wherein new identities and realities are constructed. Drawing together emerging and established scholars in communication, culture, and media studies, this volume considers the role of social media in Iranian society, particularly the time during and after the controversial 2009 presidential election, a watershed moment in the postrevolutionary history of Iran.

New Book: Preaching Islamic Renewal: Religious Authority and Media in Contemporary Egypt

The book examines the life and work of Muhammad Mitwalli Sha‘rawi, one of Egypt's most beloved and successful Islamic preachers. His wildly popular TV program aired every Friday for years until his death in 1998. At the height of his career, it was estimated that up to 30 million people tuned in to his show each week. Yet despite his pervasive and continued influence in Egypt and the wider Muslim world, Sha‘rawi was for a long time neglected by academics. While much of the academic literature that focuses on Islam in modern Egypt repeats the claim that traditionally trained Muslim scholars suffered the loss of religious authority, Sha‘rawi is instead an example of a well-trained Sunni scholar who became a national media sensation. As an advisor to the rulers of Egypt as well as the first Arab television preacher, he was one of the most important and controversial religious figures in late-twentieth-century Egypt.

New Book: Media and Political Contestation in the Contemporary Arab World: A Decade of Change

This book addresses the roles of various media in the shaping and active contestation of particular conflicts and political agendas in the Arab world. Interdisciplinary contributions examine the sociopolitical dynamics generated in and through media, with perspectives emerging from media studies, anthropology, religious studies, and political science. This book explores both new media and older media forms and formats including the press, satellite television, Facebook, Web 2.0 technology, posters, and music videos. Topics range across the politics of popular culture, women scholars' religious fatwas, the Palestinian visual public sphere, Hezbollah's media policy, women's presence on Arab satellite television, and the uses of Facebook in the Tunisian revolution.

New Book: Reporting in the MENA Region: Cyber Engagement and Pan-Arab Social Media

The book explores the changing status and function of journalists and journalism given the new realities of reporting in the digital age. The authors draw on focus group discussions, interviews, and social media traffic surveys to examine how social and new media have been integrated into Arab and pan-Arab newsroom operations and harnessed to enhance engagement with an empowered audience. Efforts to engage with audiences in social space, the authors argue, are part of a broad and long-waged information war aimed at winning hearts and minds in the MENA region. Social platforms present excellent opportunities to engage with audiences, but the extent to which such opportunities can be realized are hamstrung by limits on free expression and online access—and vary significantly from country to country and from media channel to media channel.
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