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 […]

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, […]

Blogging in the Middle East: Not Necessarily Journalistic (CJR.org)

By Lawrence Pintak and Yosri Fouda CAIRO – What is a journalist? In Western media circles these days, the boundaries are blurring between online newspapers like the Christian Science Monitor and Guardian.co.uk, “blogs” such as HuffingtonPost.com, YouTube’s “citizen journalism,” and the rantings of political attack-dogs of all political stripes. Sure, HuffPost has a White House […]

Inside the Arab Newsroom: Arab Journalists Evaluate Themselves and the Competition (Journalism Studies)

(Vol. 10 No. 2 April 2009) In the years since 9/11, much has been written about the alleged bias and lack of professionalism in the Arab media. The first cross-border survey of Arab journalists finds that they have a mixed view of their own industry. They are frank about the lack of independence, fairness and […]

Border Guards of the “Imagined” Watan: Arab Journalists and the New Arab Consciousness (Middle East Journal)

(Vol. 63 No. 2 Spring 2009) Media plays a fundamental role in the formation of national identity, most famously detailed in Benedict Anderson’s theory of the imagined community. In the Arab world, a media revolution is contributing to the emergence of a reawakened regional Arab consciousness. A comparison of data from the first major regional […]

The Princess and the Facebook Girl (Arab Media & Society)

Issue 5, Spring 2008 Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, there lived a beautiful princess. Hers was a fairytale existence of spectacular palaces and footmen with gleaming swords and, of course, a handsome prince. But this princess was sad, for the voices of her people were but a whisper. It was […]

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 […]

Open Season on Journalists in the Middle East (CJR.org)

The pen may be “mightier than the sword,” but in recent years, the sword has left a trail of spilled ink – and blood. It is time for an international law banning targeted attacks on the media. (Aug. 1, 2006) After the carnage of this past weekend in the Middle East, two previous incidents seemed […]