Al Jazeera and the Global Media Landscape: The South is by Tine Ustad Figenschou

By Tine Ustad Figenschou

This ebook analyzes how and why Al Jazeera English (AJE) grew to become the channel of option to comprehend the large protests around the Arab global 2011. Aiming to give an explanation for the ‘Al Jazeera moment,’ it tracks the channel’s bumpy street in the direction of overseas attractiveness in a longitudinal, in-depth research of the channel’s editorial profile and methods. learning AJE from its release in mid-November 2006 to the ‘Arab Spring’, it explains and problematizes the channel’s formidable editorial schedule and methods, examines the inner conflicts, sensible demanding situations and minor breakthroughs in its early life.

The Al Jazeera-phenomenon has acquired huge realization, however it is still under-researched. the expansion of transnational satellite tv for pc tv has remodeled the worldwide media panorama right into a advanced net of multi-vocal, multimedia and multi-directional flows. in response to a mixture of policy-, construction- and content material research of finished empirical information the booklet bargains an leading edge standpoint at the theorization of world information contra-flows. by means of problematizing the certain features of AJE, it examines the strategic motivation in the back of the channel and the ways that its creation tactics and information profile are supposed to be diverse from its Anglo-American rivals. those questions underscore a critical nexus of the e-book: the altering courting among transnational satellite tv for pc information and gear.

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The Egyptian film and television industry has played a historically dominant role in the Arab broadcasting industry (Amin 1996: 102). After the oil crisis in 1973–74, with the vast transfer of wealth to oil-producing Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states, the balance of power in the Arab world moved eastwards, and the Kingdom challenged Egypt as the pivotal state in Arab politics (Zahlan 1998: 148). A Strategic Contra-Flow? 29 During the ‘European phase’ of Arab satellite broadcasting, the Saudiowned channel MBC (1991) was broadcasting from London while ART (1994) and Orbit (1994) were transmitting from Rome.

In many ways the network’s critical coverage of the issue represents its brave, independent, alternative journalism at its very best. Acknowledging the sensitivity and controversy surrounding the thousands of pages of leaked embassy documents, Al Jazeera English carefully argued the journalistic value of presenting the papers. The channel stated the materials will prove to be of value to journalists, scholars, historians, policymakers and the general public. ). These fundamental journalistic principles of transparency and openness were strikingly absent in the network’s coverage of the second set of leaked documents—the US embassy cables written by American diplomats based in Qatar leaked by WikiLeaks in December 2010.

BOOK OUTLINE: EXPLAINING EDITORIAL STRATEGIES AND PRACTICES The academic debate on the role of social media in the Arab uprisings illustrates the political potential of the Arab public sphere, but it also problematizes the technological optimism and the methodological and empirical challenges in the analysis of the new Arab media phenomenon. In his razorsharp criticism of those Western media and analysts that have pointed to the Internet as a key instigator of the Arab uprisings, Alterman (2011: 106) argues that these analysts fell prey to numerous logical fallacies.

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