“Autocratic Arab governments have long controlled news and information with an iron hand, writes Lawrence Pintak in the cover story of CJR’s May/June issue. “No more. They try to do so in 2011, but competing versions of reality seep in—and out—through every electronic pore.”

In this podcast, Pintak expands on his cover story, “Breathing Room: Toward a new Arab media” and the accompanying piece “English Lesson,” about the inaccessibility of Al Jazeera English on American television networks. He talks about the origins of Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and other television news outlets, their lasting impact throughout the region on middle eastern popular opinion, as well as the significant shift in American public opinion of outlets like Al Jazeera English during the “Arab Spring.” He also discusses how the death of Osama bin Laden has been handled in the Arab media.

Listen to the episode below, and be sure to check out the CJR podcast homepage on iTunes, where you can listen to past episodes and subscribe for free.

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By Lawrence Pintak

Lawrence Pintak is an award-winning journalist and scholar. He is a former CBS News Middle East correspondent and was founding dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University (2009-2016). He was named a Fellow of the Society by the Society of Professional Journalists in 2017 for "outstanding service to the profession of journalism" around the world. Pintak is a contributor to ForeignPolicy.com, The Daily Beast, and other outlets. Read his articles at pintak.com. His books include Reflections in a Bloodshot Lens: America, Islam & The War of Ideas; Islam for Journalists (co-editor); The New Arab Journalist; and Seeds of Hate: How America’s Flawed Middle East Policy Ignited the Jihad. He holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Wales, Trinity St. David. Follow him on Twitter @LPintak.

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