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Formerly TBS Journal

ISSN: 1687-7721

The Gulf

Civil Society and Web 2.0 Technology: Social Media in Bahrain

Mahmood al-Yousif, 'godfather' of Bahraini bloggers

Magdalena Maria Karolak looks at the output of Bahraini bloggers and concludes that although the bloggers initially contributed to civil society activism, the polarization of Bahrain society has since penetrated the blogosphere itself.

Alternate Viewpoints: Counter-hegemony in the Transnational Age

Al Jazeera's logo

Evelyn Thai discusses whether Al Jazeera meets the criteria to qualify as 'alternative media' and finds that the Qatar-based channels are arguably unique. “But as transnational news networks proliferate, a theory that accounts for the alterity of transnational media would contribute greatly to an understanding of how mass media continues to evolve.”

Financial Crisis in the UAE - A Paralysis of Analysis

Central Dubai by night

The financial crisis in the United Arab Emirates has tested the limits of media freedom in the country, and many of the participants, especially government and the media, have fallen short..Sam Potter describes how the local press in the UAE has handled the financial crisis and wonders how long the practice of self-censorship can continue when alternative sources of information are so readily available

Media absent from Yemen’s forgotten war

Man in Sa'ada.  Courtesy of Flickr user la_imagen under a Creative Commons license

The Yemeni government’s refusal to let journalists and foreign observers into the Sa‘ada governorate has helped prolong and intensify the stop-go fighting that has plagued Yemen’s mountainous north since 2004, argues Maysaa Shuja al-Deen.

BBC Persian television launches

Image courtesy of BBC Persian TV

The newest Persian language satellite network made a splash in the Iranian blogosphere when it began broadcasting in January. But just how far can the BBC go in the face of hostility from Tehran and without local bureaus, asks Contributing Editor Paul Cochrane.

Book Review: Warring Souls: Youth, Media and Matryrdom in Post-Revolution Iran by Roxanne Varzi. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006.

While somewhat limited in locating middle class youth within Iranian society, Varzi’s brilliant work interrogates the relationship between ethnography and processes of fictionalization, writes Jennifer Riggan.

BOOK REVIEW | Popular Culture and Political Identity in the Arab Gulf States

This volume is a welcome start to the long-overdue project of challenging stereotypes of the Gulf as a backward, tribal culture that has been overwhelmed by global cosmopolitanism, argues Reviews Editor Samer Abboud.

It's a cultural thing

Courtesy of Flickr user FredArmitage under a Creative Commons license

Being a business journalist has never been easy in the notoriously tight-lipped UAE. But will investors tolerate Dubai & Co’s culture of keeping quiet amid a global financial crisis, asks Contributing Editor Dana El-Baltaji.

English newspapers in the United Arab Emirates: Navigating the crowded market

Courtesy of Flickr user toyohara under a Creative Commons license

In such a crowded market, how can newspapers possibly resist advertisers’ demands to produce business-friendly coverage? Peyman Pejman puts the tough questions to editors of the UAE’s six English language dailies.

BOOK REVIEW | Masters and Masterpieces of Iranian Cinema

Hamid Dabashi gives “blood and bone” to the lives and predicaments of Iran’s filmmakers. Yet his conceptions of “realism” seem to be surrogates for aesthetic judgments, argues Farouk Mitha.

Al Jazeera English election coverage: Another missed opportunity

Al Jazeera English’s election night coverage had the feel of a local college TV station, marking another missed opportunity for the channel that has yet to live up to its potential to produce true borderless journalism, writes Publisher and Co-Editor Lawrence Pintak.

I want my MTV

It was only a matter of time before the world’s biggest name in the music and youth entertainment industry would tap into the consumer hungry, but conservative Middle East, writes Contributing Editor Dana El Baltaji

BOOK REVIEW | The Moral Resonance of Arab Media

Flagg Miller’s The Moral Resonance of Arab Media remains at a rarefied, theoretical level, but bears ample rewards for advanced students of Arabic literature, media studies, communication anthropology and public sphere studies, writes Zuzanna Olszewska.

DUAL BOOK REVIEW | Journalism in Iran and Media; Culture and Society in Iran

Journalism in Iran and Media, Culture and Society in Iran will help academic and general audiences navigate between simplistic ‘reformist versus hardliner’ narratives by bringing social science perspectives to bear on the historical development and contemporary diversity of Iran’s media, writes Managing Editor Will Ward.

From Saints to Sinners: Identity and celebrity in a contemporary Iranian television serial

Narges prays in a white chador

The Iranian television drama Narges was a smash hit in 2006, but the action wasn’t just on screen. Josie Delap examines the relationships between the stars’ on-air characters and their private personas, including a sex tape scandal that roiled the Iranian authorities.

Dubai: An emerging Arab media hub

Dubais Media City is a networking paradise for journalists

Dubai is fast becoming a global media hub – but for whom? Dana El-Baltaji examines Dubai’s business-friendly media model and its implications for the future of media in the Emirates.

Interview: Sue Phillips on Al Jazeera International's First Year

October 2007. Speaking to Arab Media & Society’s George Weyman in July 2007, Sue Phillips, London bureau chief for Al Jazeera International, reflects on the network’s first year and the changes and challenges that lie ahead.

The Arab Broadcast Forum 2007: Self-criticism surfaces despite some sidestepping

Discussions were rarely heated in Abu Dhabi, despite a hot issue list including Darfur, war coverage, youth programming and democracy.

The Arab Broadcast Forum both intentionally and inadvertently exposed some of the obstacles that continue to plague Arab World television media, as well as the conference’s own shortcomings. But its ability to critically examine these thingsdespite some flawsdemonstrates that the Arab media is at least on the right track, says Abigail Hauslohner.

British Middle East representative, Jon Wilks: Fluent Arabic spokesmen can “promote a freer media in the Arab World”

Recently posted at the British embassy in Dubai, Jon Wilks is no newcomer to the Middle East. Having served across the region over a number of years, the fluent Arabic speaker has been brought in to explain British government policy to the Arab World. Speaking to Arab Media & Society Managing Editor George Weyman, Wilks talks about his role, revealing his mixed views on Arab-channel interviews and how he avoids discussing conspiracy theories.

Picture perfect: How the story of Dubai's other side can never be told

Assigned to 'investigate' the joys of a luxury Italian cruise: exactly the sort of thing that journalists can get sucked into when working in Dubai. Courtesy of Dana El-Baltaji.

I hesitate to call myself a journalist. Technically, I am one, but I haven’t broken ‘news’ since the day I took up my position on Time Out in Dubai. Still, I take comfort in knowing that most journalists in the emirate are equally frustrated working in a media industry that ‘makes nice, not news,’ reports Dana El-Baltaji.

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