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. […]

Egypt Through My Students’ Eyes (CJR.org)

(March 2, 2011) “I was attacked today when I tried to protect some foreigners.” The Facebook message arrived in my inbox early afternoon Pacific time. It was evening in Cairo on Feb. 4, the pivotal “Day of Anger” that would ultimately lead to the downfall of the regime. The young woman who sent the message […]

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 […]

Columbia Univ. Dart Center Interview

Columbia Univ. Dart Center Interview For Journalism and Trauma (Feb. 1, 2011) A media scholar explains how Arab news professionals, under siege as governments seek to manage their message, see themselves as agents of change in a turbulent time. Note: A media revolution unleashed 15 years ago with the launch of independent satellite network Al […]

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 […]

Arab Media Wars: Hamas, Fatah and the Arab Media World

ABU DHABI (Jan. 23, 2009) – Surf the blogs in the Arab world and you find a common theme: the Bush administration has blindly supported Israel’s Gaza war and the U.S. media has been shilling for “the aggressors.” Ask the average American and it’s a good bet that you will hear the opposite view: Arab governments […]

Satellite TV News and Arab Democracy (Journalism Practice)

Vol. 2 No. 1 Feb. 2008 — The red and white banners of Lebanon’s anti-Syrian protests in the spring of 2005 were a testament to the transformational power of the Arab media revolution. Without al-Jazeera and the new constellation of Arab satellite broadcasters, it is unlikely there would ever have been a “Cedar Revolution,” as […]

Darfur: Covering the “forgotten” story (Arab Media & Society)

Issue 2, Summer 2007 There is no issue in Arab journalism today that is more controversial than how the region’s media cover Darfur. Not Iraq, where, according to a new report from the Arab Archives Institute, 52 Arab journalists have lost their lives since 2001; not Palestine, where journalists are caught between Israel and the […]

America’s Media Bubble (NYT/Int’l Herald Tribune)

CAIRO (Oct. 19, 2006) — The United States no longer controls the script. That’s a reality Democratic congressional leaders must digest as they seek to recast America’s relationship with the world. There used to be a time when the U.S. media wrote the global narrative. The world saw itself through a largely American camera lens. […]