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From TUNeZINE to Nhar 3la 3mmar: A Reconsideration of the Role of Bloggers in Tunisia’s RevolutionIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

Blog by Z http://www.debatunisie.com

Amy Kallander delves into the world of Tunisia’s educated and upper-middle class bloggers to reveal a more nuanced picture of their role in the Tunisian revolution. Reviewing the country’s unique history of Internet activism and government censorship, she finds that their impact was not only more limited than western media accounts claimed, but in many ways, more interesting.

Revolutionary Media on a Budget: Facebook-only Social JournalismIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

In one of the first studies of Egypt’s Rassd News Network (RNN), Yomna Elsayed explores how this Facebook-based citizen journalism network became the most influential news source during the revolution. Placing RNN in the context of alternative media launched on social networks, she explores the reasons for its success as well as the challenges that it faces.

Job Satisfaction and Editorial Freedom at Al-Arabiya: Finding the Balance while Covering Volatile Middle East NewsIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

In the first survey of its kind, Mohammed el-Nawawy and Catherine Strong study job satisfaction among journalists working for Al-Arabiya TV. They explore how the channel’s Saudi ownership and coverage of the Arab uprisings shape perceptions of editorial freedom, job security and job satisfaction, pointing to a new understanding of journalism values among news workers at pan-Arab satellite channels.

Beyond Egypt’s “Facebook Revolution” and Syria’s “YouTube Uprising:” Comparing Political Contexts, Actors and Communication StrategiesIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

Activists coordinate online from Cairo's Tahrir Square / Photograph by Sarah Sheffer

Sahar Khamis, Paul B. Gold and Katherine Vaughn compare and contrast the role of social media in the Egyptian and Syrian uprisings, providing a comprehensive review of the tactics used by both activists and regimes. The ability of new technologies to effect political change, they argue, is determined by pre-existing social, political and communication structures.

Rebuilding Egyptian Media for a Democratic FutureIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

An Egyptian TV commercial with a folkloric portrayal of a rural woman

Dr Ramy Aly argues that Egypt's revolutionary moment is a golden opportunity to abandon old media practices that deprived many sectors of society of a media voice and privileged a narrow and elitist concept of what it means to be Egyptian.

The Debate Over Al Jazeera English in Burlington, VT.Icon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

Central Burlington and the Al Jazeera logo

William Youmans analyzes the debate in Burlington, Vermont, over whether the local cable TV company should or should not carry Al Jazeera English. He concludes that Burlington was a special case, rather than the harbinger of a breakthrough into the US market for AJE.

Cyberactivism in the Egyptian Revolution: How Civic Engagement and Citizen Journalism Tilted the BalanceIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

An Egyptian protester acknowledges the role of social media, picture by Awais Chaudhry

Dr Sahar Khamis and Katherine Vaughn give a comprehensive overview of the role of new media in the overthrow of Mubarak and wonders whether the same tools will enable activists to keep up the pressure for change during what could a lengthy transitional period.

New Media and Social Change in Rural EgyptIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

One of the thousands of mobile phone outlets that dot the Egyptian townscape (picture by D Lisbona)

Dr Sahar Khamis goes back to Kafr Masoud in the Nile Delta after ten years and notes the effects of exposure to satellite television channels, the Internet and mobile phones, with particular attention to how they have changed the lives and perceptions of rural women.

(Amplified) Voices for the VoicelessIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

Protesters sympathetic to Egypt's Baha'is hold up enlarged copies of a Baha’i ID

David Faris looks at the role bloggers played in the campaign to enable Egypt's tiny Baha'i minority to obtain identity cards without identifying themselves as Muslims or Christians. He traces the links between a handful of Baha'i bloggers, a wider circle of sympathetic activist bloggers and some key people in the mainstream media. He concludes that the sustained online attention which the plight of Baha’is appears to have won in the end made it difficult for the Egyptian government to countenance the continued violation of Baha’i rights.

Tales of 9/11 - What conspiracy theories in Egypt and the United States tell us about ‘media effects’Icon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

The infamous 9/11 attack on the twin towers in New York

Stephen Marmura tries to explain the persistence of mistaken beliefs about 9/11 and about the rationale for invading Iraq among the US and Egyptian publics, concluding that memories and long-term discourses sometimes outweigh short-term media effects.

Cosmopolitan Islamism and its CriticsIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

The 4Shbab logo

Maurice Chammah analyzes the thinking behind the Islam-oriented music television channel 4Shbab, noting contradictions in its vision of the interaction between Islam and the West. He looks at the audience which 4Shbab assumes already exists and the audience which it hopes to create, and discusses Western media reactions to the project.

Islamic Televangelism: Religion, Media and Visuality in Contemporary EgyptIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

Televangelist Amr Khaled broadcasts from the hajj

Yasmin Moll writes on visual aspects of the phenomenon of Islamic televangelism, arguing that: “a consideration of contemporary media practices in Islam invites us to expand our definition of what the visual might be and what acts of seeing might entail.”

Not Your Father's Islamist TV: Changing Programming on Hizbullah's al-ManarIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

fromn al SharqAlAwsat

As the voice of the Hizbullah, you might expect al Manar to present a grim and gritty image, reflecting the Islamic organization that has upended Lebanon’s politics. But that’s not the case and the twist is fascinating, as Anne Marie Baylouny explains.

Politics by other screensIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

Asmahan serenades in a nightclub.  From Gharam wa Intiqam (1944)

Absent participatory government, the film industry became a key political battleground in the late French empire. Historian Elizabeth F. Thompson compares struggles for control of the cinema in late colonial Fez and Damascus.

Sampling Folklore: The re-popularization of Sufi inshad in Egyptian dance musicIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

Jennifer Peterson tracks how traditional Sufi poetry is mixed and remixed into contemporary dance music heard widely on the streets of Cairo. Features video and audio examples.

From A-lists to webtifadas: Developments in the Lebanese blogosphere 2005-2006Icon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

Egyptian women protest the war in Lebanon. Issandr El Amrani.

During the Hizbullah-Israel War, blogs provided alternative on-the-ground accounts of events, says Sune Haugbolle. But can they challenge the social authority of old media?

The Appeal of Sami Yusuf and the Search for Islamic AuthenticityIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

Islamic pop star, Sami Yusuf.

Tracking Sami Yusuf's move into the mainstream is key not only for understanding Sami Yusuf as an Islamic artist but also as a useful index for how Muslims see themselves as participants in Western modernity. Christian Pond asks, will they, as encouraged by Sami Yusuf, choose the path of Islamizing modernity? Or will they choose the more complicated path of modernizing Islam?

Reality Television and Politics in the Arab World: Preliminary ObservationsIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

Arab Reality TV: Promoting Pan-Arab love or stoking the flames of nationalism? (Photo of Star Academy courtesy IBA Media.)

In the wake of controversy triggered by Super Star and Star Academy, some observers have hailed reality television as a harbinger of democracy in the Arab world. Marwan Kraidy looks at the political implications of a new and popular genre hitting Arab satellite television.

'The Perfect War': US Public Diplomacy and International Broadcasting During Desert Shield and Desert Storm, 1990/1991Icon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

US Public Diplomacy Czar Karen Hughes (AP).

In this article, Nicholas Cull reviews the performance of the United States Information Agency (USIA) during the Gulf Crisis and War of 1990-91. He concludes by contrasting the effective US use of public diplomacy during this period with the problems encountered following 9/11.

Television and the Ethnographic Endeavor: The Case of Syrian DramaIcon indicating an associated article is peer reviewed

Customers in a Cairo watch musalsalat during Ramadan.  Photograph by Tara Todras-Whitehill.

In contemporary Syria, the TV industry’s centrality renders it a particularly revealing site of ethnographic endeavor. It provides a valuable point of access to a complex and rapidly changing society, argues Christa Salamandra.