The Egyptian American Dialogue Initiative (EADI), in collaboration with George Washington University and Gallup hosted the Egypt Media Forum in Washington, DC from October 1 to 3, 2014. The Forum brought together a group of prominent Egyptian and international experts on media and policy to discuss media sector reform in Egypt. This report, jointly published by Arab Media & Society and EADI, offers a summary of the discussion that took place, as well as the key recommendations that emerged. The ideas presented provide a blueprint for future efforts in mobilizing decision makers toward a set of practical initiatives to move Egypt's media sector forward.
Through the lens of Thoreau’s conception of democracy Matthew Crippen investigates the international media’s framing of Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow in the summer of 2013. He questions why much of the Western media and Al Jazeera adopted the uniform narrative that the ouster was a coup and a travesty of democracy, despite its popular support. Without adjudicating whether or not the overthrow was anti-democratic, Crippen posits that the reasoning undergirding the dominant opinion among media pundits that it was remains questionable.
President of the Egyptian Radio and Television Institute, Gamal El Shaer, presents unique insight into the current Egyptian media landscape. Grounded in historical discussion of the evolution of broadcast, print, and digital media in Egypt, El Shaer offers lucid description and analysis of how we have arrived at the current post-Revolution media environment. This article also tackles some of the challenges currently facing the country’s media in terms of the relationship between the state and the media, ownership structures, research, and professionalism.
In a concise and critical read, Amr Khalifa draws attention to the Egyptian state’s influence on shaping the narratives propagated by national and local media, particularly television. Using initial coverage of the 2011 Revolution as a jumping off point, Khalifa argues that the same mechanisms for controlling the media have been used and reused by successive governments and examines new limitations on freedom of expression, which he argues are more stringent than the tight control seen under Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Muhammad Y Gamal makes a compelling case for the establishment of an Egyptian Audiovisual Translation Authority. Laying out a short history of translation in Egypt, Gamal argues that the country has not laid the groundwork to keep up with changing modalities of translation and communication in the information age. This, he argues, is critical for the proper development of several sectors, including education, tourism, entertainment and foreign affairs.
Ramzy Baroud casts a critical eye on the current state of Arab media, where the idealistic hopes of the Arab Spring and the promise of digital media have fallen far below expectations. Instead, he argues, we are witnessing a media war, where evolving geopolitical dynamics and economics determine who has a voice and what narrative is conveyed. Coupled with a crisis of professionalism, Baroud laments that any attempt at an equitable media platform in many Arab countries has for now been largely defeated.
In a systematic examination of Saudi law, Lara-Zuzan Golesorkhi explores how the Kingdom has justified its crackdown on activists and dissenters on social media. Golesorkhi investigates how these laws have been applied in the cases of nine different activists in the last four years. Mapping their trajectories alongside the language enshrined into Saudi law, this article offers valuable insight into why and how these actions have been taken by the Kingdom.
The Arab uprisings of 2011 triggered a wave of discourse on media and social movements. As interest grew, so did questions about the scope and impact of media, particularly new media, on the events that unfolded. In the years since the upheaval began, AMS has been home to robust analysis of events from across the region. In the pages of this special print edition you will find a selection of articles primarily from our archives. For more information, including how to acquire a copy, please click the title link.