In a thought-provoking essay, Jon W. Anderson poses the question: Is informationalization good for the Middle East? The notion evolves through a wealth of data, fresh comparisons and insight into factors such as telecom infrastructure, the monetization of data, the extraction of value upward, and how labor is valued in an informationalized economy.
Nabil Dajani critiques the perception that Lebanon enjoys one of the freest media systems in the Arab world, showing how its foundations in confessional politics and business interests prevent it from functioning as a public service, a control on power, or a voice for the voiceless.
Matt Duffy reflects on the state of journalism education in the United Arab Emirates before and after the Arab spring. His experience as a communications professor at Zayed University, followed by his unexplained expulsion from the UAE, reaffirms the increasingly bleak environment for media freedoms in the region.
A Revolutionary Role or a Remnant of the Past? The Future of the Egyptian Journalist Syndicate after the January 25th Revolution
Miriam Berger reports on change and stagnation at the Egyptian Journalist Syndicate, Egypt’s only official journalist union. Through interviews with syndicate members and media observers, she paints a granular picture of how efforts to reform the syndicate remain blocked by entrenched political, economic and state interests.
At a time when Hollywood movies are a global commodity, Mohamed Satti studies the extent of their impact on cinema and television in Kuwait. He shows that while American films dominate the movie theaters, local production of television content continues to be strong.
Naomi Sakr’s survey of the state of post-revolution Egyptian journalism shows how, in spite of notable advances, it is still beholden to Mubarak-era strictures and practices. Mohammed el-Nawawy calls the book timely and valuable as a snapshot of a transformed but still evolving situation.