Al Jazeera America: Think NPR with pictures (and a little baggage) – CJR.com

(Aug. 26, 2013) Al Jazeera joined the American TV lineup last week with minimal damage to the republic. There was no sign of bin Laden, no call for jihad, and no ranting about the evils of the American empire—just a workmanlike recounting of the day’s events, interspersed with testimonials from fresh-scrubbed young reporters, most recently […]

Report on Media and Policy in the Muslim World Retreat

(Feb. 10, 2012) Journalists across the Muslim world are in need of political and practical support in the face of a backlash from governments struggling to undermine the media revolution sweeping the Middle East, Southeast and South Asia, according to a new report released by The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State […]

POWs, Dead Dictators, and Journalistic Ethics (CJR.org)

(Oct. 27, 2011) The young Iranian prisoner was no more than fourteen, still caked with a thick layer of dust from the battlefield. He was among thousands of old men and young boys being held in an Iraqi POW camp somewhere outside Basrah. It was September 1980, the early weeks of the Iran-Iraq War, and […]

Lawrence Pintak on the Arab Media Revolution: A CJR Podcast

“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: […]

English Lesson: The Moment Has Arrived for Al Jazeera English, Except in the US

[This is a sidebar article to the May/June 2011 cover story, “Breathing Room: Toward a new Arab media,” which you can read here.] Back in November 2008, I skewered Al Jazeera English’s live coverage of election night in the US in an article for CJR.org. “It was a bit like watching a local college TV station try […]

Breathing Room: Toward a New Arab Media (Columbia Journalism Review Cover Story)

(May/June 2011) Before there was Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or even Al Jazeera, there was Hama, Syria. It was 1982 and an anti-government protest was put down with ferocious violence. The Syrian government simply destroyed whole sections of the city, leaving at least ten thousand people dead. But the slaughter went unreported in that closed society. […]

The Al Jazeera Revolution (ForeignPolicy.com)

 (Feb. 2, 2011) As darkness fell on Tahrir Square the night of Feb. 1, a giant makeshift TV screen broadcast Al Jazeera’s live coverage of the Egyptian uprising to the enthusiastic crowd. The channel would later transmit Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s speech, in which he announced that he would not stand for reelection but would […]

Arab Media Revolution Spreading Change (CNN.com)

(Jan. 31,2011)  Egyptians have overcome their fear of the police state. It is a seminal moment in the history of the Arab world’s largest and most influential nation. The upheaval underscores a grim reality for authoritarian regimes the world over: The electronic dam has burst and with it, their ability to control the flow of […]

Crowd-sourcing Tunisia: separating electronic rumor from reality (The Seattle Times)

(Jan. 21, 2011) The Tunisian revolution is another reminder of the power of viral media. But it also underlines the fact that not all information is created equal. As they did during Iran’s much-hyped “Twitter Revolution,” news organizations and bloggers have been channeling a torrent of cellphone videos, tweets and blog posts from Tunisia. Indeed, […]

Reporting the Revolution: The New Voice of Arab Journalism (Laylina Review)

(Jan. 2011) The ouster of Tunisian President Zine El Abdine Ben Ali and the ongoing regional fallout are just the latest examples of the degree to which a media revolution has shifted the power dynamics of the Arab world. Much has already been written about how text messaging, Twitter, blogs and YouTube allowed news of […]