why does the media matter?
“public sphere” (Lynch) for political ideas and
state control, censorship
informational cascades and domino effects. If these are important thn the channels which caryy the information are imp too.
For informational cascade to occur ppl have to see things happening.
civil society and political organization. This may bcme easier with new tools to communicate and inform. There was political
organization bfre these things and there were revolutions bfre these things but these things did have some implication giving ppl
ability to ppl communicate and organize virtually.
Why spend time looking at the arab media. March lynch has argued that, he wrote a
whole book abt Aljazeera talkin abt emergence of arab public sphere that is a place for
population to discuss and debate political issues. Historically states have tried to limit
that. They still do in some cases in many cases but the media has changed and created
more opportunities for the public. Media may matter for identity politics and poli culture.
It may matter that arabs from tunsia to morroc can open television and watch same
news and same tv channel n all understand it cos its in the same lingo. So perhaps in
middle east the continunce of salience of arab identity and Arabism which bring the arab
world together is this new arab public sphere. And more n more local private
broadcasters too in the arab world cos Aljazeera changed the market.
independent (but elite) press at the time of
statecontrolled “mobilization” print and broadcast
broadcasting and the “Arab Cold War” (1950s1970) : pitted pan arabist against conservatives and also rivalry within pan arabist.
domestic populations. Palestenians kid friend of rex story abt his father getting arrested cos he sent a postcard to voice of arabseir
At time of poli independence in the arab world, there was indep press in many countries but ti was an urban elite educated upper
middle class upper clas phenomena cos hardly anyone read the newspaper. And immediate post colonial period u saw those indep press
eroded with emergence of state controlled mobilization media. State controlled tv and radio and directly and indirectly controlled news papers
which were designed to mobolizew support for regime
That mobilization press was not a venue for critical dialogue. In lebone u dint find that, u still had a vibrant pres but in lebonan the
press used to be organized through sectarian and poli aafiliations. alJazeera effect
alJazeera (Arabic) launched in 1996
collapse of BBC Arabic TV
CNN coverage during Gulf War (199091)
direct broadcast satellite
financed by Qatar
Media continued to be dominated by state control till 1990s. Aljazeera launched. Partly it
emerged on the wreckage of the bbc Arabic tv which had never taken off and Aljazeera
thn just hired all those ppl of bbc. Financed by Qatar. Part of Qatari foregin policy. It
doesn’t say anything abt qaatar. Says alo less abt qatars allies. But is very critical. It
took off to cos of the Iraq Kuwait war when cnn emerged as a big broadcaster and
techonology had also changed where u cld get satellite links with live field reports. And
a lot of arab world felt that cnn coverage was very biased n created this right
environment for an arab broadcaster and is direct broadcast satellite. Ppl cld get it by
satellite dish and dint have to rely on govt to rebroadcast it domestically and the satellite
dishes shrink in 1990s bcme it impossible for govt to control their proliferation n many
countries made dishes illegal in 90s and when they were the size of like a car this ban
worked but when they were the size of a dinner plate the ban cldnt work n so they all
gave up. They stopped enforcing the law and finally became them legal and became
cheaper and smaller.
Aljazeera transformed the arab regional media environment both by its coverage n itself
n its debate n criticism. In the context in which all information used to be controlled by
the state and direct broadcasting changed that as Aljazeera came in Saudis thought
hang on we cant have Qatar transmitting so Saudis came up with alarabia which is
technically private ly owned but is owned by Saudi princes emerged as the major rival,
more conservatice, others started satellite seen and as no one was watgching local
media anymore countries started liberalizing their local domestic media and u get
proliferation of channels.
Red lines are very ambigious. As to what u can say n stuff.
other broadcasters emerge
governments started steppin up their broadcasting. They had to make their broadcasting more interesting too so that ppl can watch
political ▯ like hizbollah station broadcasted by satellite. Top 1 abt the whole arab world is a big methodological no no cos we don’t
know how he came up with this and how he weighted. But country ones
mobile phone: really powerful
Twitter Proportion of ppl having net acces. One reason y we wanna be careful abt the twitter or
fb revolution idea in arab world cos in some countries almost no one had internet
acces.like Libya. We also dint have revolutions in like uae or Qatar wwhich have
high rates of penetration. So these things do change the way info flows but they don’t
create revoltuions. U need the discontent. They just make it easier for protest to get
Its hard to argue that yemen was fb revoltuin if only 1.8 percent ppl had fb access. Twitter is really imp in saudia now. Occasionally someone wld go voer line in twitter n
get arrested. But they are criticism royal family n govt n stuff.
impact of the new Arab media
si o tis? ll t nw mi inluin irt rost mi
bypassing of traditional state censorship
informational pluralism: ability to access new poli ideas.
new opportunities for political debate
ltou but most broadcast media still politically aligned in
some way, but it matters less if there are multiple allignments. U may get information from different sources though ppl
may have bias cos they watch channels which says things that ppl wanna hear. In lebonan lots of channels with diverse
stuff n ppl watch stuff in line with their thinking and it reinforces their bias and doesn’t necessarily generate more critical
internet may have less penetration in some social
Groups. It varies across countries and groups. Middle class will have it more but rural groups will have it
state controls and monitoring: will play catchup in terms of monitoring the new social media, competing with them,
blocking them, make it very slow